The Guide for Sustainable Seafood Consumption in Greece
Through making responsible decisions on what seafood you consume, you can help to protect the life in our seas.
Fish4Life is a guide for sustainable fish consumption in Greece and other parts of the Mediterranean. It aims to provide the public with easily accessible information about what seafood is sustainable to consume and when. It provides information on the status of each species (e.g. whether it is illegal, or sustainable to consume) and their breeding season when consumption should be avoided (shown in red months on calendar). Moreover, it provides information about the minimum legal size within Greece, (the size below which it is illegal to catch or consume each species), as well as the minimum sustainable size (the recommended minimum size for consumption due to reproductive age thus allowing regeneration of species. In many cases this is different from the legal size!). The main commercial fishery practices in Greece are listed below (shown using symbols for each species).
Fish4Life was initially created by researchers of Archipelagos Institute of Marine Conservation and developed as an app, by TEDx Thessaloniki in May 2012, currently under redesign.
Everyone can help in combating overfishing, by making responsible, health conscious seafood choices. It is important for future fish stocks to avoid eating rapidly declining species from fisheries contributing to overfishing through spear fishing, drift nets, dynamite fishing and other illegal fisheries and choose more sustainable methods e.g. traps or pole fishing. Sadly, several species of seafood which are deemed illegal, can still easily be found in the Greek market. Fish4life can help you to choose against consuming these species and to report them when discovered!
It’s OK to Consume
The consumption of seafood belonging to the green category is currently considered sustainable and responsible for consumers. The stocks are not considered overfished or declining. Nevertheless, we must always choose sustainable sizes and avoid consuming during breeding seasons to keep fish populations healthy, as well as protecting fishery livelihoods.
If a species belongs to the yellow category, there is evidence that its consumption may not be sustainable. Populations may show signs of decline or be in recovery from a previous decline. Regular consumption is not advisable. However, if you wish to consume, always choose sustainable sizes and avoid breeding seasons.
The consumption of species belonging to the red category is considered unsustainable and should be avoided at all times! The species may be: (1) Protected meaning it is illegal to catch, sell and consume (2) Overfished to a point where population is in decline (3) Potentially harmful to health as it can bioaccumulate dangerous levels of heavy metals or toxic chemicals
Consists of a conical net that leads to a sac and is dragged along the seafloor, while it remains open with the metal doors. It is a non-selective method as it catches non-targeted species, and also uproots or damages all sessile flora and marine organisms. Benthic trawling is considered the most destructive method and is therefore unsustainable.
Gill/ Trammel netting
Passive fishing gear which comprises of wall of netting that hangs in the water column, (trammel nets are multi layered) mesh sizes entangles fish heads and gills. Τhe mesh size and overall net characteristics can vary greatly depending on the target species, the method of fishing and the morphology of the seafloor. If nets snag on seabed they can get lost, becoming ‘ghost nets’.
Hooks & Lines
Either placed on surface or along seafloor setting out horizontal line using bait to attract the target species. This category includes longlines, trolling lines and jigging.
A large wall of ‘draw netting’ is deployed circling a school of fish near the water surface. After the fish are encircled within the net, the lead line is pulled, “pursing” the net closed and trapping the fish.