The 5 Anchors: Principles of a Place-Based Approach to Sustaining Wild Seafood

Ecosystems are places and humans are part of these places. Eating with the Ecosystem harnesses the momentum of the local foods movement to craft a holistic approach to sustaining these places and the wild seafood they produce.

“What fish should I eat?” 

The answer that most consumers and many of you are probably expecting is “eat this particular kind of fish” or “don’t eat this other type of fish”. That is because conventional sustainable seafood organizations out there define sustainability in terms of the stocks and yields of specific individual commercialized fish species and teach consumers that the ocean is split into sustainable fish and unsustainable fish. However, what would happen if we all went out and ate only one or two types of "sustainable fish"? Even the most abundant populations might collapse under that pressure and other members of our marine food webs might be unintentionally impacted triggering a cascade of negative consequences for our ecosystems and fisheries. At Eating with the Ecosystem we recognize that species do not exist in isolation from each other or their ecosystems and that as humans we play a part in impacting these complex and dynamic ecosystems. Therefore it is really our human behaviors which can be sustainable or unsustainable. Our place-based approach to sustaining our wild seafood recognizes the interconnectedness and complexity of our ecosystems and defines sustainability in terms of the resilience of these local ecosystems and the people who depend on them. It recognizes also that we live in an era of rapid environmental change, and promotes a notion of sustainable marketing that mimics ecosystem rhythms and nurtures positive feedback loops between seafood lovers and seafood habitats. Join us in becoming a sustainable consumer by learning about and practicing our 5 Anchors. 

We have 5 anchors which guide our approach: