There is a lot of controversy about seafood. Due to overfishing, many of our favorite fish, like bluefin tuna, are low in numbers. What do you do? There is a lot of talk now about sustainable fish populations. But how do you know what kinds of fish are sustainable and what kinds are not?
Luckily, there are many organizations like the Monterey Bay Aquarium that publish material that let you know what fish are sustainable in various regions all over the world. You can carry one of their convenient pocket guides with you when you shop so you know what seafood to look for.
These easy to use guides can be used at restaurants or fish markets. Seafood is rated as Best Choice, Good Alternative, or Avoid based on how well the populations are doing. Best Choices are seafood that is abundant and harvested in a responsible, environmentally friendly way. Good alternatives are an option, but there may be some issues with how they are raised or harvested.
Those on the Avoid list are overfished or harvested or raised in manners that harm the environment or other marine life. When you are looking at Los Angeles seafood, for instance, your best choices include catfish, farmed abalone, clams, oysters, mussels, Dungeness crab, Pacific halibut, wild Alaskan salmon, US tilapia, pink shrimp, rainbow trout, albacore tuna, and white sea bass, among others. You can take these handy guides with you anywhere to ensure that you choose your seafood in a responsible manner.
Good alternatives to these already listed includes Pacific cod, farmed sturgeon, pollock, American lobster, sea scallops, squid, tilapia from Central America, rockfish, mahi mahi, flounder and King crab, among others. All of the seafood on this list are okay, but there may be some issues with them.
Those to avoid in Los Angeles include seafood like Brazilian lobster, imported wild sturgeon and caviar, monkfish, orange roughy, shark, imported shrimp and swordfish, Asian farmed tilapia, bluefin tuna, Atlantic and farmed salmon and several more.
By choosing your seafood responsibly, you cut the demand for those varieties of seafood that are most endangered. Your shopping and eating choices impact the entire fishing world, so keep an eye on these guides to help you make good choices. They are updated periodically. You can even get updates on your mobile device.
If you want to take it a step further, you can learn more at the Aquarium’s website, where you can learn how to ask your favorite fish markets and seafood restaurants to choose sustainable options for their customers. Many restaurants are already a part of this program to preserve our oceans and their bounty.
By following these guidelines, you can rest assured that you still get to enjoy your delicious seafood while you are also doing your part to make sure we have plenty of seafood options for the future. Teach your family to shop and eat responsibly, too. Every diner makes a difference when it comes to preserving our seafood treasures.
Find additional “Seafood Info” on our Seafood Articles index page. Browse through our seafood categories to find the answers to all your seafood questions for your next dinner. No matter if you are making the most of the Catch of the Day or a delicious International seafood recipe with exotic flavors and spices, you will find what you need.
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