Shopping for Sustainable Seafood

Get tips on how to purchase contaminate-free, sustainable seafood for your meals, includes organizations to help you make environmentally responsible seafood purchasing decisions and a most sustainable seafood buying list.
By Doreen G. Howard
October/November 2003
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Shopping for sustainable seafood. Chef Susan Spicer selects a Louisiana-caught blue crab at New Orleans' Crescent City Farmers Market. Collaborative members serve only sustainably harvested seafoods.

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Learn how to make the best choices when shopping for sustainable seafood for your family.

Shopping for Sustainable Seafood

Quality, contaminate-free seafood is as important to good cuisine as fresh, organically grown vegetables, herbs and fruits.

Overfishing, habitat destruction and pollution has put our oceans — and the creatures in them — in peril. Even some fish farming, or aquaculture, contributes to genetic and chemical pollution. Chefs Collaborative members urge you to be an informed consumer about seafood, whether you choose it from a restaurant menu, catch the fish yourself or buy it at a market.

The Chefs Collaborative's buying guide, Seafood Solutions, help chefs and the general public make environmentally responsible seafood purchasing decisions. The booklet is available from the Chefs Collaborative; Boston, MA; Other sustainable seafood guidelines are available online from the Monterey Bay Aquarium (, the Seafood Choices Alliance ( and Audubon (

Sustainable Seafood: Best Catches of the Day

Use the list below to shop for the most sustainable seafood. These fish are abundant, responsibly managed, and are fished or farmed in an eco-friendly manner.

Catfish, farmed
Caviar, farmed
Char, Arctic
Clams, farmed
Halibut, Pacific
Herring, Atlantic
Mussels, farmed
Oysters, farmed & Pacific
Rainbow trout, farmed
Rock lobster from California & Australia
Salmon, canned
Salmon, fresh, from Alaska & California (chinook, coho, keta, pink, sockeye)
Striped bass
Tilapia, farmed
Tuna (ahi, albacore and yellowfin)

Doreen Howard is a freelance writer who specializes in stories on food and sustainable gardening.

Read more about restaurants and local food sources: Farmers and Chefs Team to Serve Fresh Local Food.

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