I'm sure we've all heard that our oceans are being over-fished. We've also all heard the incredible health benefits to adding seafood to our diets. So, how do we have the best of both worlds? How do we enjoy a diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids, protein and minerals without harming our oceans? We need to be knowledgeable and picky about where our fish is coming from and what it takes to get it to our plates. Monterey Bay Aquarium has formed the Seafood Watch program to help consumers and animal-lovers do just that.
According to their website, Seafood Watch is described as "a program of Monterey Bay Aquarium designed to raise consumer awareness about the importance of buying seafood from sustainable sources. We recommend which seafood to buy or avoid, helping consumers to become advocates for environmentally friendly seafood. We're also partners of the Seafood Choices Alliance where, along with other seafood awareness campaigns, we provide seafood purveyors with recommendations on seafood choices." Their mission is to "empower consumers and businesses to make choices for healthy oceans."
From regional pocket guides showing the good, bad and ugly choices for purchasing seafood to simple ways to encourage your favorite restaurants (even sushi!) to join the sustainable force, Seafood Watch offers a whole slew of information. They even have a growing list of restaurants whose seafood menu is entirely sustainable. Did you know Google Earth now lets you dive into the oceans, too?? I can't wait to check out this new feature!
The bottom line: While all this information may feel overwhelming, just follow the pocket guide for your region. Purchase/order foods shown in the green and yellow categories and, for now, avoid the foods in the red category. By supporting sustainable, natural fishing, we will encourage those in the red category to step up to the plate.