ChewsWise Blog

ChewsWise Blog

What Fish Should I Eat? Get a Cell Phone Guide

With all the recent news on overfishing and toxicity in fish, it's easy to get the message that we shouldn't be eating fish. That isn't the case, since there are sustainable fisheries -- that is populations where the fishing is well-managed for the future -- that deserve support. Alaskan salmon, cod and halibut are often mentioned. But there are many others as well.

Many organizations offer wallet-sized cards on making smart seafood choices, but here are a list of web sites that I found especially helpful.

Monterey Bay Aquarium's seafood watch program has a wealth of information that is easy to search. They've also just issued their 2008 pocket guides of seafood choices, based upon where you live. Or better yet, link the browser on your cell phone to to call up the guide in a restaurant or while shopping.

Blue Oceans Institute, founded by MacArthur Fellow and author Carl Safina, is very active in this area as well. It has a Guide to Ocean Friendly Seafood, with five ratings from green to red. But what I really like is their text-message service, fish phone, that immediately tells you about the fish you're ordering. Text 30644 with the message FISH and the name of the fish in question. "We’ll text you back with our assessment and better alternatives to fish with significant environmental concerns," they say. I tried it. It works. And it's very easy to use in the market or a restaurant.

Environmental Defense has an eco-friendly seafood selector, available on the web or in a pocket guide. ED has done a lot of good  work on toxicity, and the choices in their easy-to-read guide emphasize that point. Here's a link to their green choices, which include Alaskan salmon, farmed-raised mussels and oysters, trout, catfish (domestic),  tilapia (domestic) and yellow fin tuna. Also available in a pocket guide.

Finally, for kids, check out Kids Safe Seafood, which looks at these issues (especially toxicity), specifically for children.

The point is that there are good choices available for seafood. You just gotta do the legwork.