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How to Make Your Surfers Diet Sustainable for the Ocean
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How to Make Your Surfers Diet Sustainable for the Ocean

Wave Tribe

I’ve talked about how we can be more eco-friendly and sustainable in our habits and attitudes.

Published by Wave Tribe

Shifting to eco-friendly surfing gear can help reduce your carbon footprint

In a world where climate change is wreaking havoc on our ecosystems, it’s the only rational way to do so.

Concrete steps like reducing the use of plastics or shifting to eco-friendly surfing outerwear and gear is well and good because it reduces our carbon footprints in the environment.

And this is particularly important especially in the light of the recent news that the carbon levels around the world have crossed over a new alarming threshold.

Some surfers are into a plant-based diet as it is more healthy

Surfers Diet

Surfing, like most sports, require long hours of moderate aerobic activity. This is why surfers-especially if they want to go professional-need to be fit in order to compete well in the sport.

In order to do that, one needs not only regular training but also a proper diet in order to ensure that the body is healthy enough to respond to the demands of the sport.

That’s why among surfing blogs, there’s a lot of talk about getting the proper surfing nutrition for those enthusiastic about the sport.

In fact, in the media, there is a lot of attention on professional surfers extolling the virtues of a vegan diet. According to them, a plant-based diet is more healthy and gives them more of a competitive edge when surfing.

While it may be true, a lot of people are still not ready for a full 360-degree shift to veganism. But just because you’re not ready for vegan doesn’t mean you can’t be eco-friendly in your eating habits.

Seafood Diet

One option is the seafood diet, or what is known as the pescatarian diet. This diet consists of seafood and vegetables.

Seafood remains to be the most consumed animal protein in the world, with the industry supporting more than 500 million livelihoods worldwide. When compared to animal farming, fish farming has considerably a lesser negative impact on the environment.

If you’re looking for a way to further cut down on your carbon footprint without giving up on meat, a seafood diet is the way to go.

Pescatarian diet is consists of seafood and vegetables

Unsustainable Fishing

But because a lot of people now consume seafood, the high demand has also resulted in overfishing. And this is a problem because if the wild stock population isn’t allowed to recover, we will lose these fish stocks.

One way to address this is to establish seafood farms which commercially grow seafood for the market. But this is not without its own share of criticisms.

Many of the concerns surrounding fish farming arise from the crowding together of thousands of fish in their artificial environment. Waste products, including feces, uneaten food, and dead fish are flushed (often untreated) into the surrounding waters where they add to the contamination of the water supply. Also in this effluent are pesticides and veterinary drugs that have been used in an effort to treat the pests and diseases that afflict fish in these concentrated numbers.

Sustainable fish farms are the answer to overfishing and to the environmental problems that commercial aquaculture brings to the marine ecosystem.

— Derek Dodds, Wave Tribe Founder

Wasteful Fish Farming

Large farms also require large resources to feed their fish stocks. Species like salmon are carnivorous and must be fed on other fish. Unfortunately, it takes too much lesser fish in order to produce healthy salmon, which has a significant impact on the local biodiversity.

In fact, there’s research saying that about 37% of all global seafood is now being ground into feeds that are being fed to fish, pig, and poultry farms. It’s a wasteful process, considering that the resources far outweigh the commercial product.

Fish farms also destroy coastal environments. Sea pests that prey on the farmed fish sometimes spread out to afflict wild fish. Viral, fungal and bacterial fishes that arise in fish farms could spread to the local marine wildlife.

Surfers for Sustainable Sea Farms

It’s no wonder why historically surfers have been protesting against commercial ocean farms.

Recently, a pair of surfing professionals joined a local boycott of farmed salmon products because of the negative impact of the fish farms in the area. And just this year, world champion surfer Jamie Mitchell is headlining a documentary on sustainable ways of farming fish in the ocean.

Sustainable fish farms are the answer to overfishing and to the environmental problems that commercial aquaculture brings to the marine ecosystem.

Sustainable fish farming
Photo by: Eco Caters

So How Does One Eat Seafood Sustainably

It’s simple. Just buy fish that’s been certified to have been grown in a sustainable ocean farm. Similar to the organic certification that is labelled on livestock products, sustainably farmed fish products also have their own label.

If one can’t find a certified sustainably produced seafood, it helps to know what the species is, how it was caught and where it was caught.

For instance, the Alaskan salmon is generally fished in the wild so its diet is natural and therefore, its pink meat is delicious and healthy. Farmed salmon, however, are fed an unnatural diet which includes food coloring in order to turn its flesh pink.

Atlantic salmon, meanwhile, is overfished so it should be avoided.

Certified sustainable seafood label
Photo by: Tesco PLC

Making the Right Choices

So whenever you are shopping for food, picking sustainably sourced seafood can help save the ocean. Not only do you help protect its biodiversity but you’re also pressuring commercial fish farms to adopt sustainable methods of fish farming.

Ultimately, it’s in the matter of making the right food choices and supporting solutions that we can bring real change. As surfers, we know how fragile the ocean can be and we need to protect it before it collapses. It’s up to us to make small choices and create big changes in order to ensure its continuity.


More Wave Tribe Essential Reads

Changes in the Ocean? Look at its Indicator Species
The Ultimate Guide on How To Lower My Carbon Footprint - Surfer's Edition
Can Our Beaches Survive Climate Change

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