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A Consumer's Guide to Sustainable Seafood

Image courtesy of Unsplash

Have you ever wondered about the effects of the food you eat, specifically seafood? Well even though it appears to be a simple question, the answer may be more developed than you might think. Firstly, we must look at the effects the seafood industry has on the globe before we can analyze the sustainable seafood we eat.

While our oceans, lakes and rivers offer a variety of seafood to eat, it is important to note that with industrial pollution, as well as questions surrounding the ethical issues of farming and fishing practices that bring much to question about the seafood industry. For example, while there has been more ethicality in salmon farming practices, there are still concerns regarding the antibiotics in use. While there is much that we can do to eat sustainability, don’t feel bad if you can’t twenty-four seven. Nevertheless, it is possible to eat sustainably, as long as you do your research and do what you can to protect our waters. Try some of the following steps below before you pick out your next piece of seafood:

  • Eat some uncommon treasures that people look over!

    • Mussels are farmed and low cost within a considerable amount of places, they also don't require antibiotics and respond very well to high-density farming going even further to even being able to help the water quality.

    • Farmed Barramundi have been shown to be sustainable in their eating, proven by aquaculture ventures within Vietnam and Massachusetts. They have tested for “mercury, PCBs, and other containment”, and have been shown that when in low density farming practices there is a reduced use of antibiotics. It is key to look for Farmed as wild-caught are poorly managed in their fishery and are non-sustainable.

    • Canned Salmon, Atlantic Mackerel and Rainbow Trout are just some of the few other sustainable seafood products that you can easily buy and make.

  • Opt for small fish over the heavy hitters!

    • As a whole big fish such as shark, tilefish, and swordfish, that are longer-living and larger predators tend to contain more mercury than smaller fish such as Pacific sardines and anchovies. They may be tiny but they have high amounts of vitamins and don’t contain as many toxins.

  • Look at the brands and do your research when you can!

    • It is important to look at the brands and do research before you buy your seafood. Try using websites such as Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch App, or join your local Community Supported Fishery (CSF) online for the up-to-date sustainable seafood to buy. You can also use FishChoice ( to look at restaurants that participate in sustainable programs.

  • Try something new!

    • While eating your regular seafood may be comfortable, it is also important to reach out and try something new. Not only will you be able to have a wider variety of dishes to choose from but you can find some new and cool seafood to eat. Try Eat This Not That (, which is an environmentally run website.

  • Eat local!

    • Ask your grocery store clerks or butchers where they get their seafood from, you may even be able to find some bulk seafood for a lower cost. Or participate in your local farmers market, which is known to be less damaging in their fishing practices rather than the commercial fish market.



“Choose Sustainable Seafood.” Pacific Whale Foundation,

Kadey, Matthew. “How to Choose Seafood That's Nutritious, Sustainable - and Safe.” Experience Life, 30 June 2022,

“Sustainable Seafood | What You Can Do.”,

Tarantino, Olivia. “Best Fish to Eat - According to Nutritional Benefits | Eat This Not That.” Eat This Not That, 4 May 2022,


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