Eating endangered seafood in restaurants
We had a lively discussion yesterday about ordering Chilean sea bass in restaurants. That may not sound very exciting, but the comments did get heated.
The issue, of course, is sustainable seafood and endangered (or not) species.
If you're serious about avoiding questionable fish and shellfish -- questionable in the sense of overfished or otherwise endangered -- you might want to get the updated Seafood Watch Pocket Guide. Monterey Bay Aquarium's Seafood Watch is one of the most respected sustainable seafood advisory programs. ...
Have you been avoiding swordfish since the some-think-ill-advised "Give swordfish a break" PR campaign a few years ago? Then you need this guide. Or you can search the Seafood Watch Web site for information on your favorite fish.
For instance, if you look up "salmon," you'll find wild-caught salmon is rated "best choice," while farm-raised is labeled "avoid."
It has nothing to do with taste. "Pollution, chemicals, parasites and non-native farmed fish that escape from salmon farms can impact native salmon populations in the surrounding areas," the Web site explains.
Crab? The best choices are Dungeness, stone and Kona, while our blue crab is considered a "good alternative." The only "avoid" is king crab.
As for Chilean sea bass, the fish that started the discussion, its status has changed somewhat. Here's what the Web site says:
"In March 2004, Chilean seabass from the South Georgia Patagonian Toothfish Longline Fishery was certified as sustainable to the standard of the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC). However, the amount of certified product available is only a small portion of the total Chilean seabass catch. Legitimate sources are required to have the MSC "Chain of Custody" certification and purveyors should be able to produce this when asked. Without proof of this certification, consumers should not purchase Chilean seabass."
And swordfish? Seafood Watch is fine with it as long as it's domestic. (Canadian is also OK.)
(Lloyd Fox/Sun photographer)