Macmillan Sustainability Tip:  How Do I Purchase Sustainable Seafood?

Seafood is an important source of protein for people (and cats) all around the planet, but it’s estimated that 90 percent of the world’s fisheries are fully fished or in decline. How can you help? Follow a few of these tips to help make our oceans a healthier place while eating your fish taco too.

Know what your sustainable seafood choices are – the health of different species varies by the fishery. Use the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch recommendation guide to find out which fish is the best choice, a good alternative, or something to avoid – all based on type of fish, fishing method, and location.

Know how it’s caught:

  • Pole and Line – a pole and bait is used to target specific type of fish. Bycatch (unintentionally caught fish, sea birds, turtles, sharks, dolphins) is usually released quickly.
  • Trolling – multiple baited lines off the boat. Small amounts of bycatch.
  • Purse Seine – a net that is used to catch schools of fish near the surface that pulls up and closes to prevent fish from swimming down. Small amounts of bycatch.
  • Long Line – a line with over 2,500 baited hooks that can run many miles in length. Large amounts of bycatch.
  • Trawling – large nets that are dragged on the ocean floor. Large amounts of bycatch and coral reef destruction. Learn more about other fishing methods here.

Look for sustainable certification labels:

  • Wild caught – the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) blue ecolabel can be traced back to the certified fishery.
  • Farmed – ASC Certified, Naturland, Best Aquaculture Practices Certified, and Friend of the Sea.

Want to learn more? Visit: Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch, Marine Stewardship Council, or NOAA’s FishWatch