Seafood Watch

March 14, 2015

Two decades ago, concerns about overfishing and all the problems with farmed fish felt abstract. We didn’t expect most chefs to source seafood locally. We generally had no clue where the fish in the market came from. And we were buying terrible shrimp without even knowing it. 

But the tide is shifting. Though the word “sustainable” has obscured the human cost of food production, it’s a real victory that "sustainable fish” has become important on a national level. 

More than any other product of our natural environment, it’s difficult to keep track of international fishing and farm fishing conditions. For many years, the Monterey Bay Aquarium's Seafood Watch has put out an app to address this difficulty. If you’re hoping to buy salmon at the market but can’t remember whether Atlantic farmed or Alaskan farmed is the better choice, Seafood Watch will instantly tell you. They'll also tell you why: they frequently update the information on every recommendation. 

Though I can’t see myself pulling out Seafood Watch mid-shop, even a quick browse offers a terrific education. And if you're eating sushi? You can search in Japanese. 

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