We know it can be hard to figure out what seafood you should be eating these days. Between mercury concerns, the prevalence of overfishing, and debates about farmed vs. wild fish, it can feel tempting to throw the towel in. Fortunately, with the right tools in your back pocket, making sustainable seafood choices is easier than you think. Here are a few of our favorite resources and tips for helping ensure that what you’re buying is safe for you and the environment.
1. Trust the Experts
The Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch Program is something of a gold standard when it comes to identifying which fish are safe to eat, from both an environmental and personal health standpoint. Their printable consumer guides provide regionally specific information on everything from where and when to shop for seafood, which species are overfished, and even fish that pose a health risk due to high levels of mercury. We recommending bookmarking the homepage on your phone to make it easy to access up-to-date information about sustainable seafood on the go.
2. Think WLLS
This acronym will come in handy if you find yourself in need of a quick method for parsing a restaurant menu or navigating your trip to the fishmonger. WLLS stand for wild, little, local, shellfish. Choose seafood that meets as many of these criteria as possible to help minimize your impact.
3. Expand Your Recipe Repertoire
We’re all guilty of preparing (or ordering) the same dishes over and over again simply because they’re familiar. If you’re coming to the realization that some of your go-tos may be having an outsized impact on the ocean, don’t be afraid to try something new. Oceana has a collection of recipes from top chefs across the country that make the transition to sustainable seafood easy and appealing.