Sustainable Fish 101

Many of the fish species we eat are experiencing population declines at alarming rates. Overfishing and habitat-destroying farming practices threaten to wipe out certain types of fish, as well as the marine life with which they share the seas.

It's important to make smart decisions about the seafood you buy, says Carl Safina, an ecologist and cofounder of the Blue Ocean Institute. By knowing where your fish comes from, you can support sustainable fishing practices and help ensure a diverse array of seafood options for years to come.

Being an eco-conscious seafood consumer starts with finding a purveyor that can answer your questions about the fish it sells. Grocers in the United States are required to label country of origin, but many go beyond that to help people make mindful choices. Whole Foods Market, for example, features a color-coded ranking system developed by the Blue Ocean Institute to delineate sustainably caught seafood.

Try These Sustainable Fish
In general, the fish in this list from Whole Living magazine are safe, sustainable options.

  • Anchovies
  • Atlantic mackerel
  • Farmed rainbow trout
  • Farmed oysters
  • Alaskan or Canadian sablefish
  • Wild Alaskan salmon
  • Sardines
  • U.S. farmed shrimp

Read more about sustainable seafood, including information about wild vs. farm-caught fish and dietary considerations. And try these Safe & Sustainable Seafood Recipes.

For information from the Blue Ocean Institute on the go, text 30644 with the message FISH and the name of the fish in question. They'll text you back with their assessment and better alternatives to fish with significant environmental concerns.

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