The Internet teems with advice on choosing sustainable seafood. These sites that provide the best information.
Blue Ocean Institute Seafood Guide ― a beautifully photographed thumbnail gallery of sea creatures shot in their habitats leads you to more in-depth information about each. Bright, easy-to-understand icons tell you whether a species is abundant (green fish), overfished (red fish), or full of mercury (red flag). We love Blue Ocean’s well-written, well-designed, downloadable guide to sustainable sushi. And their informative animated short on mercury has to be the best-looking treatment of its subject in existence.
Environmental Defense Fund’s Eco-Friendly Seafood Selector ― outlines the best, okay, and worst fish choices for the ocean. Choose fish from its “eco-best” list and you know you're eating the least contaminated, most nutritious, and most sustainably harvested fish on the market.
Marine Stewardship Council ― an international nonprofit organization, promotes responsible fishing practices and certifies wild fisheries as sustainable. Look for their blue certification label on fish signs at the market counter and on canned and frozen fish.
Marine Fish Conservation Network ― posts summaries of major issues affecting ocean fish, plus calls to action. It’s frequently updated and gives an insider’s view of what’s facing the world’s fish and what shapes the way we manage those stocks.
Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch ― the granddaddy of sustainable seafood sites. The fish-by-fish list offers detailed advice on more than 80 species to help you choose fish that’s good for you and the ocean. Download their helpful seafood pocket guides from their site, or pick up a set at many fish counters. Other great aspects of Seafood Watch: an illustrated guide to fishing methods and resources organized by category ― including seafood and human health, fisheries management, and aquaculture.
Ocean Wise ― a Vancouver Aquarium conservation program designed to educate consumers about the issues surrounding sustainable seafood. When you see the Ocean Wise certification label in the seafood case and on restaurant menus, you know you’re making an ocean-friendly choice.
Sustainable Seafood Canada ― a seafood-market program working to improve sustainable fisheries in Canada through research, industry outreach, public education, retail partnerships, and dialogue with government.
Our favorite books on sustainable seafood
Fish Forever: The Definitive Guide to Understanding, Selecting, and Preparing Healthy, Delicious, and Environmentally Sustainable Seafood (Wiley; 2007) by Paul Johnson. Founder of a California wholesale fish market that supplies top chefs, and himself a former chef, Johnson has distilled decades of knowledge into this award-winning guide to understanding, selecting, and cooking sustainable seafood. More
Fish Without a Doubt: The Cook’s Essential Companion (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt; 2008) by Rick Moonen and Roy Finamore. Las Vegas chef and sustainable seafood expert Moonen and coauthor Finamore share everything you need to know to cook sustainable seafood, including shopping tips, cooking techniques, and more than 250 approachable recipes.
Salmon Nation: People, Fish, and Our Common Home (Ecotrust, 1999; updated in 2003). A lively history of salmon in the West, told in six essays―starting with a Native American perspective. Includes gorgeous maps that show, river by river, how all six species of salmon are faring.