Before a fish, clam, or crab is wrapped in cellophane, crammed in a can, or displayed on ice at a grocery store it was living organism interacting with its surrounding environment. If the animal was living in the wild, it came from a fishery; if it was grown by humans, it is considered to be an aquaculture product. Either way, the animal reaches your grocery cart through a convoluted pathway involving complex interactions with the planet's ecosystems and countless human decisions. It is the culmination of the human decision aspect of this food system that ultimately determines the sustainability. The David Suzuki Foundation is involved in influencing the decisions that go into producing seafood products.
Fisheries continue to be the largest human impact on the world's oceans. Sustainable fisheries are those fisheries that do not compromise the long term viability of the fish themselves or the ecosystem that supports them. Theoretically, pretty much any fish, clam, or crab can be exploited in a sustainable manner. The David Suzuki Foundation aims to influence the way of fisheries are conducted through work with government advisory committees, federal policy initiatives, eco-certification systems and the Canadian public.
Sustainable aquaculture requires the animal to be grown in a way that does not harm its surrounding ecosystem. Similar to terrestrial farming there are many types of animals and many different practices that can be applied to growing them. Animals grown through aquaculture can interact with the ecosystem through their feed inputs (i.e., is the feed source sustainable), waste outputs, disease transfer to surrounding species, and by escaping into the adjacent environment. A diversity of farmed seafood products are now found in food markets with more available every year. Aquaculture is a global industry responsible for millions of tonnes of seafood. The David Suzuki Foundation is involved with several global initiatives to develop standards for sustainable aquaculture production.