Sustainable seafood simplified

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While many people eat and enjoy seafood, there is a growing demand for sustainable options. Here are five easy ways to make eco-friendly seafood choices.

1.  Utilize your resources.

The Monterey Bay Aquarium issues downloadable pocket and mobile phone guides for sustainable seafood. Their guide breaks options down into three groups: “green” choices like wild-caught salmon; “yellow” which are decent alternatives; and finally, “red” which are the fish to avoid including Chilean sea bass and Asia-farmed tilapia.

2.  Ask where your seafood came from.

Reading through the pocket guides does no good unless you ask questions. When you buy seafood, whether at a store or in a restaurant, ask where it came from and refer back to the guide to ensure that region is practicing sustainability.

3.  Know how your seafood was raised.

Another important question to ask when you are buying seafood is whether it was farmed or wild-caught. For example, when buying wild-caught fish, it is important to ensure that the fish have been captured in ways that are sustaining for their species and will not result in an irreversible state change to their ecosystem. Visit the website for full recommendation criteria for both farmed and wild-caught fish.

4.  Support your ocean’s defenses.

Organizations such as Greenpeace are working to protect and preserve the oceans by rallying for the creation of Marine Reserves, offshore areas that are closed off to fishing and other development. Getting involved with a cause drives awareness around the sustainability issues and moves asking questions in a grocery store or restaurant one step further toward getting your voice heard.

5.  Encourage your friends and family.

Now that you know the basics on finding sustainable seafood, talk to friends and family about ways they can make a difference. The more people who ask questions, the more powerful the message becomes for conservation and protection.

The hook is baited – are you ready to grab hold of the (sustainable) line?

Resources:


Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch
Greenpeace Defending Our Oceans
Environmental Defense Fund Seafood Selector

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