Friday, September 12, 2014

Basics of Purchasing Wild Seafood Responsibly

          Last month I posted about how to shop for farmed seafood responsibly, so it seemed only fitting to do a similar post on wild seafood. Here are some of the basics.

What species are over fished?

           You can find more comprehensive lists using many of the links in the resources section, but here are some species you should generally avoid (or at least pay attention to where and how they are caught): Atlantic Halibut, Albacore Tuna, Blue Fin Tuna (certain regions / methods), Black Fin Tuna, Chilean Seabass, Grouper, Monkfish, Shark, Sturgeon.

Fishing Methods:

Good: trolling / hook and line, using a pot (for crabs and shrimp), and small scale purse seining

Bad: dredging / trawling and long lining

What Resources are Available to Learn More?

Like aquaculture, there are plenty of resources available for learning about how to shop responsibly. Many of those included in my original post also apply to wild seafood. Here are a few to get you started:

The Marine Stewardship Council has tons of information readily available on their website. You can look up "MSC certified fish to eat" along with recipes, track a fishery, look for retailers, restaurants, and more. The website also includes a plethora of articles and educational tools as well as an up to date collection of relevant news and events. They even have an app you can download on your smart phone and look up any of this information on the go!

MBA Seafood Watch: The Monteray Bay Aquarium’s Seafood watch program has plenty of free resources available including downloadable pocket guides by region and a mobile app. Use the guide as a quick pocket reference or search for a type of fish in the app (like bass) for example and you’ll get a list of good choices (ex: US or Vietnamese farmed Barramundi) vs. those to avoid.

Good Fish: is a cookbook with recipes using sustainable seafood and tons of great information on how to buy responsibly. I reviewed this book on 8/1/14, you can read my full review here.

My fellow SSBA Member Richard recently put together a list of some of the third party certifications that currently exist for both wild fisheries and seafood farms.

Your Grocery Store or Local Fish Market: When I did my post on where to buy sustainable seafood, I found that stores with robust sustainability programs had lots of information available on their websites.

Up Next Week: All about salmon and an easy recipe

What do you want to read about seafood and / or sustainability? Leave your topic suggestions in the comments section!

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