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Sustainable Seafood

Sustainable Seafood Guide

Find out which seafood is sustainable!

There's a lot of fish in the sea, but not all should end up on your plate! Learn which kinds of seafood were caught, farm-raised or harvested using environmentally sustainable practices.

Buy Ocean-friendly Seafood

Much of the public is unaware of the environmental damage caused by fishing practices. Overfishing, the removal of fish from the oceans faster than they can reproduce, is causing the depletion of certain types of fish around the world and threatening the availability of seafood. Non-ocean-friendly fishing practices are endangering "bycatch:" marine mammals, sea turtles and seabirds inadvertently caught in fishing nets and often left for dead. As if that isn't bad enough, fishing practices such as bottom trawling and dredging can damage marine habitats like coral reefs, rocky ridges, boulders and kelp forests.

Check the Seafood Watch Program

Don't worry, the solution isn't swearing off seafood. Become an informed consumer of seafood and know which types were fished with environmentally unsafe practices, and which are safe to buy. The Monterey Bay Aquarium has developed a website, the Seafood Watch site, to assist consumers in making these buying decisions. The site has current reports by the Conservation Alliance for Seafood Solutions, links to other reference resources and a search tool for locating information on seafood by species name. Consumers can access the Seafood Watch online.

The Monterey Bay Aquarium has also issued consumer wallet guides containing the latest information on seafood choices available in each state of the U.S. Items are rated as Best Choices, Good Alternatives or Avoid. Shoppers can download the card at

You can still find plenty of safe seafood choices with the help of the Monterey Bay Aquarium's Seafood Watch!

• Look for the "Fish Forever" Label

You can also look for a "Fish Forever" label on ocean-friendly seafood in markets, thanks to the Marine Stewardship Council. The council makes the judgment about a fishery's sustainability with three principles: the condition of the fish stock, the impact of the fishery on the marine ecosystem and the fishery management systems. To learn more about the council's standards, visit

If you want to do more to ensure future generations of sustainable seafood, you can start with local organizations like the Chesapeake Bay Foundation. The CBF was founded more than 40 years ago to improve water quality by reducing pollution, thus making the Bay a safer living environment for sea life. To find out what you can do, visit

Hopefully the next time you are craving a bite of Chilean seabass or Pacific red snapper, you'll think twice. They are on the lists of seafood to avoid, as well as most types of shark, orange roughy, farmed salmon and imported shrimp. Get the facts before you buy.

Know what to avoid — make sure you have all the facts before you buy seafood

Commit to Sustainable Seafood

Low Risk
Clams, mussels, abalone, oysters and bay scallops (farmed)
Alaska salmon (wild-caught)
Striped bass
Pacific cod, U.S. fisheries
Albacore tuna, U.S. or Canada
Catfish, U.S. (farmed)
Tilapia, Ecuador & U.S. (farmed)
King and Spanish mackerel (wild-caught)
Shrimp, U.S. (farmed)
California Spiny Lobster (wild-caught)
Dungeness, imitation, kona and stone crabs
Crawfish, U.S. (farmed)
Pacific halibut (wild-caught)
Rainbow trout (farmed)
Freshwater Coho salmon, U.S. (farmed)
Pacific sardines (wild-caught)
Atlantic mackerel, U.S. (wild-caught)
Some Problems
Mid-Atlantic Black seabass, U.S. (wild-caught)
Blue, snow, Jonah and king crabs
Mahi mahi, U.S.
Sea scallops
Tilapia (Asia)
Pacific soles (wild-caught)
Atlantic herring, U.S. (wild-caught)
Black, red and Hawaiian grouper
Caviar, Sturgeon, U.S. (farmed)
Abundant Problems
U.S. Atlantic, gag, snowy, Warsaw and yellowedge grouper
Orange roughy
Chilean seabass
Atlantic cod
Shrimp, imported
Atlantic Salmon (farmed)
Atlantic halibut (wild-caught)
Freshwater eel (farmed)
Caviar, Sturgeon, imported (wild-caught)
Bigeye, skipjack, yellowfin and blue-fin tuna
Atlantic flounders and soles (wild-caught)



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