Part two of our sustainable seafood series is all about wild and farmed fish — what that means, how to know what you’re buying was caught or farmed responsibly, and more. (Check out Part 1 on defining seafood sustainability.)
Americans would be in better health if we ate more seafood, but the only way to achieve that is through a combination of the wild population and farmed fish (also referred to as aquaculture). Sustainable seafood relies on both types.
There are good wild and farmed sustainable seafood options, and many many benefits to farmed fish beyond just providing a healthy meal. Farmed fish can help with the recovery of natural fish populations, improve indigenous food supplies, increase the diversity of available seafood products, and provide a healthier alternative to land-based animal protein.
In the U.S., some of our favorite and most popular seafood options are farmed, such as oysters, clams, mussels, shrimp, catfish, trout, salmon and black sea bass. Farming fish, shellfish and even seaweed helps produce food while restoring habitats, replenishing wild stocks, and rebuilding populations of threatened and endangered species.
Wild fish can also be sustainable, as long as they are not overfished. There are many excellent seafood guides available (see here for a list of SNP’s partner organizations). A place to start is NOAA’s FishWatch.gov, where there is good information and resources for consumers on its website to learn about different species – both wild and farmed.
In the U.S., the retailers and restaurants have really stepped up and put practices in place to ensure the seafood at grocery stores or on menus is sustainable and safe. We encourage you purchase fish from trusted sources and always ask questions.
Up next, we’ll share a comprehensive guide to all things seafood certifications. Stay tuned and enjoy your #Seafood2xWk!