When it comes to buying food, not a lot of consumers take the time or effort to double check where the product they are about to buy was grown or harvested-though doing so would undoubtedly save the planet a lot of trouble, and help promote ecological consciousness in the society at large. Of course, certain food industries face more significant problems when it comes to sustainability than others, and one good example of such an industry would be the seafood and fisheries sector. But first of all, just what is sustainable seafood, exactly?
Sustainability is in and of itself the quality of being able to be repeated over time in a similar fashion; hence, as far as the idea is applied to seafood, it means being able to harvest similar catch volumes year after year after year, something which is not possible if no concern is taken for species populations and habitat protection. In Alaska-the foremost leader in sustainability programs relating to seafood species-these kinds of concerns have been on the minds of local fishermen and state legislators for many decades, generations even, and the head start that the state got on the subject has been largely responsible for its preeminent role in this regard. The benefits of what is sustainable seafood awareness have been more evident here than anywhere else on the planet.
No wonder, then, that the salmon runs in Alaska continue to be abundant and predictable whereas in other parts of the Pacific Northwest they dwindled away decades ago; or that the crab populations continue to be healthy when in other areas they have been decimated. In fact, no seafood species native to the Alaskan waters has ever been put on the list of endangered species-and that, my friends, is the ultimate answer to the question “what is sustainable seafood?” This result, which distinguishes Alaska from many other primary fishery regions of the planet, is a benchmark of the sustainability culture that is spreading across the globe as more and more evidence is published in prestigious journals enumerating the many damages of human activity on the environment. May Alaska continue on this path for many years to come.