Wednesday, April 22, 2009

A Reminder on Earth Day: Protect our Seas

By Marcie Barnes

Photo credit goes to: only_point_five on flickr.

There are  a lot of scary things going on in the fishing industry that compel me to remind you to pick and choose which seafood you purchase. This page on the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations details the use of things such as poisons, explosives, and “pounding” (oh my!) to name a few.

And then there is overfishing, defined beautifully by the folks at

“Over three quarters of our planet are covered by the oceans. Their biodiversity is unmatched and they contain over 80 percent of all life on earth, mostly unexplored. Millions of people worldwide are depending on the oceans for their daily livelihoods. More and more all this is endangered because of ignorance and a global lack of management.”

For your convenience, I have included a list of what to eat and what to avoid. (This is the Southeast US version, visit to download a pocket version to carry in your wallet).

Don’t continue to economically support practices that are destructive to our planet (Some are on the list because of mercury content concerns, link to factsheets for more information.)


Arctic Char (farmed)

Barramundi (U.S. farmed)

Catfish (U.S. farmed)

Caviar, Sturgeon (farmed)

Clams (farmed)

Cod, Pacific (longline, jig and trap)

Crab, Dungeness

Crab, Stone

Crayfish (U.S. farmed)

Croaker, Atlantic

Halibut, Pacific

Imitation crab (Alaska)

Lobster, Spiny (U.S. & Australia trap-caught)

Mackerel, King

Mackerel, Spanish

Mahi Mahi / Dolphinfish (U.S. Atlantic troll/pole)

Mullet, Striped

Mussels (farmed)

Oysters (farmed)

Pollock (U.S. caught from Alaska)

Salmon (Alaska wild-caught)

Sardine (U.S. Pacific)

Scallops, Bay (farmed)

Striped Bass (farmed)

Striped Bass (wild-caught)

Sturgeon (farmed)

Tilapia (U.S. farmed)

Trout, Rainbow (farmed)

Tuna, Albacore (British Columbia, U.S. troll/pole)

Tuna, Skipjack (troll/pole)

Tuna, Yellowfin (U.S. Atlantic troll/pole)



Basa (Imported farmed)

Cod, Pacific (trawl-caught)

Crab, Blue

Crab, King (U.S.)

Crab, Snow

Herring, Atlantic

Imitation Crab (Worldwide except Alaska)

Lobster, American/Maine

Mahi Mahi / Dolphinfish (U.S.)

Mahi Mahi / Dolphinfish (Imported troll/pole)

Red Porgy (U.S.)

Scallops, Sea (Atlantic, U.S. & Canada)

Shrimp (U.S. Gulf of Mexico, U.S. South Atlantic wild-caught)

Shrimp (U.S. farmed)

Snapper, Gray, Lane, Mutton, Yellowtail (U.S.)


Swai (Imported farmed)

Swordfish (U.S. including Hawaii)

Swordfish (California, Oregon drift gillnet)

Tilapia (Central America, South America farmed)

Tilefish, Golden (U.S. Mid-Atlantic)

Tuna, Bigeye (troll/pole)

Tuna, Bigeye (U.S. Atlantic longline)

Tuna, Canned

Tuna, Yellowfin (troll/pole)

Tuna, Yellowfin (U.S. Atlantic longline)


Yellowtail (U.S. farmed)


Caviar, Sturgeon (Imported)

Chilean Seabass

Cod, Atlantic

Conch, Queen

Crab, King (Imported)

Crayfish (Imported farmed)

Flounder (Atlantic)

Groupers (U.S. Atlantic, U.S. Gulf of Mexico)

Halibut, Atlantic

Lobster, Spiny (Caribbean imported)

Mahi Mahi / Dolphinfish (Imported longline)

Marlin, Blue (Imported)

Marlin, Striped

Orange Roughy

Plaice, American

Pompano, Florida

Salmon (farmed)


Shrimp (Imported farmed)


Anthony Pickles said...

Good post on the really important issue of what fish we should be eating.

Have a look at The End of the Line website - It’s a new documentary about the global problem of overfishing and how we as consumers need to change the way we think about the fish we eat.

By becoming more aware and altering our habits we can make sure that there are fish in the sea for future generations.

Marcie said...

Thanks! I'm spreading the news about this :)

Sandra said...

I had no idea! Those lists are priceless. Unfortunately many don't think how detrimental some of our choices can be on the environment. Great post. :)