6 reasons why sustainable seafood is good for you and the planet

Sustainable Norwegian cod cooking in a pan

Responsibly-caught Norwegian cod is packed full of nutrients and has numerous health benefits - Credit: Norwegian Seafood Council

We’ve all heard about the benefits of eating plant-based products, but seafood is often overlooked when talking about what makes a healthy, sustainable diet. 

From June 11 to July 2, residents of Letchworth Garden City are invited to take part in three weeks of events celebrating sustainably-sourced seafood as part of the Sea Change campaign hosted by Seafood from Norway.  

“The events are designed to tantalise the taste buds and inspire the people of Letchworth with the delicious and sustainable fish and seafood on offer,” says Anette Zimowski from the Norwegian Seafood Council. 

“It’s widely reported that UK consumers eat half of the government’s recommended two portions of seafood a week; Sea Change is here to demonstrate how easy and beneficial it is to introduce more ocean-based options to your diet.” 

Fisherwoman in Norway

The Norwegian seafood industry is a leader in responsible fisheries and aquaculture management - Credit: Norwegian Seafood Council

Here are six reasons why sustainable seafood is good for you and the planet.  

1. Our bodies can’t produce omega-3s  

Omega-3 fats are essential for brain and heart health. Oily fish such as salmon and mackerel are some of the best available natural sources of these all-important fats, which can’t be produced by our body alone.

Omega-3s can help to lower blood pressure, as well as reduce the risk of heart disease, depression and dementia. They also have anti-inflammatory properties that can alleviate joint pain and arthritis, as well as promote healthy hair and skin. 

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2. Seafood can help meet the UK’s dietary needs 

According to the United Nations (UN), we need to produce 70 per cent more food to meet dietary needs in 2050. Sustainably-sourced seafood can play an important role in helping to achieve this.

Two thirds of the world is covered by water, and it’s been reported that with better management and innovation, the ocean can provide six times more food than it does today.  

3. Seafood is beneficial for your overall health  

Fish and seafood are rich in nutrients, vitamins and minerals that are vital for our overall health and wellbeing. They’re low in saturated fats and high in protein and calcium.

As great sources of Vitamin A, B and D, as well as zinc, iron, iodine, magnesium and potassium, they can help many in the UK catch up on supplements they are lacking. Eating fish once or twice a week can boost brain development and improve the health of your heart, immune system and eyesight.  

4. Seafood has a low carbon footprint 

A fishing boat in Norway practising sustainable fishing practices

The clear waters of Norway are brimming with bountiful stocks of cod and haddock - Credit: Norwegian Seafood Council

At a time when climate change concerns are more heightened than ever, it’s important to think about the impact of our global food systems. The benefits of swapping to a plant-based diet are well-known, but ocean-based options can also play a part in reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

Compared to beef and pork, as well as dairy products like cheese, seafood has a significantly lower carbon footprint if it is harvested and transported in line with sustainable practices. When consumed as part of a balanced diet, it can also alleviate some of the demand for red meat. 

5. Sustainable fishing can allow stocks to recover  

Fisheries that are managed sustainably can restore the abundance of diverse marine life and ecosystems by allowing endangered species to recover and reproduce.

By looking after the ocean properly and avoiding exploiting its resources through overfishing, many people around the world can enjoy the nutritious benefits of seafood. 

6. The seafood industry is always improving  

Without sustainable stocks of cod and haddock in the UK, countries like Norway are relied upon to provide them. Luckily, the Norwegian seafood industry is a leader in responsible fisheries and aquaculture management.

From the eradication of antibiotics used in Norwegian salmon farming, to super-freezing and adhering to strict regulations to maintain healthy, responsibly-caught fish stocks, they are ensuring the best possible quality from the boat to the supermarket.  

To find out more about the Sea Change campaign, visit seafoodfromnorway.co.uk/seachange.