How we made the calendar
There are 2 core principles based on which the Know Your Fish calendar is made.
Avoiding periods in the year when a species breeds in the wild.
Incorporating information about collateral damage into each seafood recommendation.
For any animal, the breeding season is a critical time in its life. It is the same for fish and other marine life. During their breeding season, adults mate, lay eggs or give birth to young ones. Their populations are most vulnerable to the impacts of fishing during this time. So if we want to eat seafood responsibly, we have to make sure of the following:
Fish should not get caught during their breeding season
The demand for fish during their breeding season is minimum
We should avoid eating fish during their breeding season
Let us illustrate this with the example of one of the species in our calendar, the Kingfish.
Kingfish breed during the months of March, April and May. Intuitively, we should avoid eating this species during these months.
Mar, Apr, May
Looks like we've got our recommendations. But is that enough?
We know that Kingfish are caught using large gillnets. Large gill nets also catch species like wolf herring, barramundi, cobia, groupers, coastal sharks, dolphinfish, barracuda, jawfish, skipjack tuna, yellowfin tuna, and catfish.
Large Gillnet, Hook and Line
Dominant Gear Type:
So If we really want to eat kingfish responsibly with minimal impact on the ocean, then just avoiding kingfish during its breeding period of March, April and May is not enough due to the significant collateral damage that comes with large gillnet fishing.
We need to avoid eating kingfish during the breeding period of the other fishes that get caught along with kingfish. We know that most of the species mentioned above breed between January and May. Wolf herrings breed in October.
Mar, Apr, May, Jan, Feb, Oct
Based on this combined rationale taking into account breeding seasonality and collateral damage during fishing, our recommendations for the best time to eat kingfish are June to September and November to December.
Jun, Jul, Aug, Sep, Nov, Dec
A short film by Scroll.in featuring Know Your Fish that discusses how consumers are central to the fish demand and hence exploitation of marine resources. Each of our seafood choices, can have an immense impact on our seas.
Our calendar has followed this exact line of enquiry while coming up with all recommendations.
If you are curious about nitty-gritties of our recommendations, please click on this link.
This is a database that contains all the publications we have referred to, the data we gathered and the rationale
behind each fish recommendation. We urge you to go through it and if you have any suggestions, modifications, recommendations or comments, please write to us here.