Sustainable Seafood: Wild Caught? Farm Raised? How To Choose

Sustainable Seafood: Wild Caught? Farm Raised? How To Choose

Questions around eating fish are a legitimate source of angst. Not only are our oceans in peril from pollution and irresponsible harvesting (according to the Monterey Bay Aquarium, more than 75 percent of the world's fisheries are either fully fished or over-fished), but you also could endanger your health by choosing the wrong sea critter. And I hate to tell you this, but the cheap popcorn shrimp and Cajun-grilled Atlantic salmon that we all love to order when we eat out? Ixnay on those.

"Wild-caught" casts a wide net and can mean that your fish were caught using highly destructive (read: downright demonic) fishing methods such as dynamiting reefs, high-seas bottom-trawling, and drift nets. But the term wild-caught can also encompass more desirable lower-impact techniques, such as hand-lines, divers, or the use of pots or traps.

Farmed fish (the product of aquaculture), as you have pointed out, also have their fair share of problems. As most of us now know, certain kinds of farmed salmon can, quite literally, be a lousy option. But aquaculture products are hard to avoid, given that nearly half of all the fish we eat now comes from farms. Though the farmed stuff should be avoided in some instances, you don't have to eschew it entirely. Certain kinds, especially herbivorous species, raised domestically in well-contained ponds, can be a healthy and eco-conscious option.


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