Aware consumption


Consumers need to assume their share of responsibility regarding the use of resources. They need to focus their purchasing decisions on varieties which may seem less tasty or convenient but, due to their short life-cycle and nature, can be eaten without causing problems for the survival of stocks. If consumers wish to buy fish that is fresh and sustainably produced, taking into account the energy used for storage and transport, they should obviously aim to purchase fish from the local area and a species which can be expected to be found in a particular period.

The advice to consumers living in coastal areas is therefore to always purchase from local fishermen wherever possible. It will obviously be necessary to adapt to what is available. We cannot necessarily go looking for a specific species of fish, but will have to prepare our meal according to what is for sale that day. In choosing what food we eat, we say who we are at an individual and at a group level, in terms of our culture and our personal history. That is why it is generally difficult to change food habits, even if we know that they have adverse ecological effects. We have to realize that the food we catch, although it may be felt part of a particular culture, is above all a common good, a global resource.

There are about 25000 edible species in the world which are reduced to a few dozen found on the market and no more than 15 commonly used: tuna, swordfish, cod, sole, octopus, cuttlefish, anchovy and some crustaceans. The time has arrived when we need to re-educate ourselves as environmentalists and as food lovers, into consuming species "neglected" by the market, but of great interest from a gastronomic point of view, low environmental impact and tasty alternative. In addition, being an important part of the distribution chain, restaurants can play a significant role in promoting better education and opposition to illegal fishing.

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