Healthy and Sustainable Seafood

Finding safe, healthy, and sustainable seafood may have just gotten a lot easier.

The Monterey Bay Aquarium released a new report today on the State of Seafood, along with what they call “The Super Green List” of seafood that is both healthy and sustainably harvested.

This list responds to a concern of many consumers over the last few years. While it was possible to find out which species of fish were most over-fished from one set of websites and lists, it required looking to other websites and lists to find out which fish were likely to contain the most mercury, PCBs, and other contaminants.

For many years, I carried around several of these lists crammed into my wallet. And then I scrambled to read through them while the waiter wasn’t looking!

Monterey Bay Aquarium has brought these issues together into a single list (and into the cellphone age!). The Super Green list includes seafood that meets the following three criteria: Low levels of contaminants (below 216 parts per billion mercury and 11 parts per billion PCBs); the daily minimum of omega-3s (at least 250 milligrams per day); and, fish classified as a Seafood Watch “Best Choice” (green) for sustainability.

I have to admit, I was a little surprised by some of the fish on the list.

The Best of the Best:

  • Albacore Tuna (troll- or pole-caught, from the U.S. or British Columbia)
  • Mussels (farmed)
  • Oysters (farmed)
  • Pacific Sardines (wild-caught)
  • Pink Shrimp (wild-caught, from Oregon)
  • Rainbow Trout (farmed)
  • Salmon (wild-caught, from Alaska)
  • Spot Prawns (wild-caught, from British Columbia)

Other Healthy “Best Choices”:

  • Arctic Char (farmed)
  • Bay Scallops (farmed)
  • Crayfish (farmed, from the U.S.)
  • Dungeness Crab (wild-caught, from California, Oregon or Washington)
  • Longfin Squid (wild-caught, from the U.S. Atlantic)
  • Pacific Cod (longline-caught, from Alaska)

GoodGuide currently only rates frozen fish (like fish sticks, etc.). But let us know if you would like us to move into rating fresh seafoods in the future.

About Dara O'Rourke

Associate Professor at UC Berkeley and Co-Founder of GoodGuide.
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2 Responses to Healthy and Sustainable Seafood

  1. P@ says:

    Great info! Do you have a list of fish that I should stay away from? How about Yellowfin Tuna, Yellowtail and Mahi Mahi (also called Dorado and Dolphin Fish)??

  2. Craig Wier says:

    Please, address fresh seafood, too.

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