With minimal effort, you can make smart choices regarding the seafood you purchase or consume. Smart seafood choices affect your health, the environment, the economy, and future generations. When purchasing seafood at a market, look for eco-labels or ask the vendor for sustainable and safe options. At a restaurant, if a menu does not specify the species or origin of the seafood, ask the server. If the server doesn’t know the answer, he/she will likely offer to ask the chef and return with the answer. If the chef doesn’t know where the seafood in the kitchen came from or how it was caught, are you sure you want to eat it?
If the chef does know where the seafood came from and how it was caught, refer to a sustainable seafood guide such as the ones below to make the right choice. These guides make choosing easier and typically give you reasons why a particular choice may not be wise. Different species can have harmful effects on human health when consumed, or have declining, threatened or endangered populations. Also, some fishing methods result in deadly bycatch of non-target species, such as sea turtles and dolphins. Choosing sustainable seafood helps save humans, marine mammals, sea turtles, and fish.
You can download apps, wallet-sized guides, and other information at these sites:
Monterey Bay Aquarium’s program: http://www.seafoodwatch.org
The Safina Center: http://www.blueocean.org/seafoods/