Seafood Watch (video)

Sustainable Seafood:

“…Originating from sources, whether fished or farmed, that can maintain or increase production in the long term without jeopardizing the structure or function of affected ecosystems.” The David Suzuki Foundation

“In simple terms, a particular seafood product is sustainable if it comes from a fishery whose practices can be maintained indefinitely without reducing the target species’ ability to maintain its population. In addition, it must not adversely impact any other species within the marine ecosystem by removing their food sources, accidentally killing them, or damaging their environment.” Greenpeace

Seafood Watch, a program of the Monterey Bay Aquarium began about 10 years ago to help raise consumer awareness and promote business practices to protect the ocean’s fish populations from overfishing, pollution, and native habitat destruction. Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood WatchSeafood Watch, in addition to compiling up to-date, and reliable information on marine life and the ocean’s ecosystems, produces a series of small pocket seafood guides, organized by region, to help consumers make informed choices about the fish they purchase in restaurants and in grocery markets.

As consumers take active charge in searching for better information about the fish they choose to purchase, food retailers, restaurants, and seafood suppliers face growing pressure to serve the needs of a more enlightened public. [For those tech savvy consumers, there’s also an iPhone Seafood Watch application that provides the same information as the complete set of individual pocket guides.]

The point Alison Barratt makes is our food choices as consumers can produce a real difference; the key is to take charge in finding the right sources for information about sustainability, and then making our voices heard in the marketplace. When it comes to seafood, programs like Seafood Watch provide a one-stop shop for finding the right answers.

This Week: June 3; June 5— Cooking Up a Story: Food News show: State of the Oceans Health: In Crisis -Part 1: Alison Barratt, from the Seafood Watch Program describes the general condition of our oceans, and the growing concerns over their fate. In Part2- Barratt offers additional suggestions for consumers to help relieve the pressure on fish populations, and restore the natural balance of the ocean’s ecosystems.

From our friends at National Geographic, check out this wonderful video about the oceans, and their critical importance to the survival of the planet:


  1. says

    Keli, and the same questions might be applied to farmed fish -> where and how is it farmed? I’m beginning to ask for different types of fish at my grocery store. Unfortunately the one I frequent, the fellow there has no knowledge about the whereabouts nor its background. I need to diversify my source!

  2. Keli Whidden says

    Interesting point that we cannot *not* have an effect through our consumption habits, but that we need to be mindful of not having a larger impact than warranted. I often get stuck on whether it is better to eat farmed or wild caught – though I tend to go for wild when available. I don’t know why it had not dawned on me to question the location and fishing practices of that wild catch.

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