Four tips to choosing ethical summer seafood

When it comes to choosing the right seafood, remember these four points.
When it comes to choosing the right seafood, remember these four points.

Confused about what to buy or order as seafood choices become more abundant this summer? Here’s some advice from the new book, “The Perfect Protein: The Fish Lover’s Guide to Saving the Oceans and Feeding the World” by the CEO of Oceana, Andy Sharpless, and Suzannah Evans. Just remember these four terms:

Wild (not organic)
Go wild, not organic. You might have seen “organic” fish at your local restaurant, but the truth is that there is no such thing as an organic wild fish. The “organic” label refers to how the fish is raised, as is the case when you buy organic milk, apples or other food. There are some organic fish farms outside the U.S., but none of them have been certified by domestic authorities yet.

Instead, we recommend that you stick with the wild and local labels to guide your responsible seafood choices. Simply put, wild fish that are caught from a well-managed fishery are not only more sustainable, they’re often more nutritious and tasty. Wild salmon can have twice as much omega-3 fatty acids per ounce and half the fat of farmed salmon. Today, it takes about five pounds of wild fish to produce one pound of farmed salmon, producing protein at a net loss.

Local
Choose local. The United States has some of the best-regulated wild fisheries in the world, where stocks of wild salmon, halibut and other fish are all generally well managed. While these fisheries are far from perfect, there is a better chance that if you are eating a wild American fish, it is being managed with science-based quotas and the fishermen catching it are not destroying habitats.

Little
Many Americans are not fans of “little fish” like sardines and anchovies. But they should be! We enthusiastically recommend eating any of the small stuff whenever you can find it. A grilled fresh sardine or anchovy is many a chef’s (and our) favorite seafood option. You can also find canned or bottled sardines, anchovies and herring at your local market; they are delicious by themselves or as a tasty addition to other dishes. Plus, these small fish are a nutritional powerhouse, providing a high-density hit of protein and omega 3 fatty acids.

Small fish are largely free from the toxins that accumulate in larger fish and are generally caught without using destructive bottom trawling methods that can destroy centuries-old seafloor habitat. Little fish could feed hundreds of millions of people sustainably and healthily if managed wisely. You can think of small fish as the espresso shot of the seafood world: an intense hit of the good stuff.

Shellfish
Wild or farmed, shellfish are not only nutritious and delicious, they significantly improve the environment around them because they filter and clean the water. Foodies will be glad to know that unlike with salmon, there’s no real taste difference between wild and farmed shellfish like oysters, clams and mussels, and environmentalists will be equally glad to learn that one ton of harvested oyster meat offsets the equivalent of the waste contribution of 38 people per year. As chef Barton Seaver said, “It’s our patriotic duty to eat as many farm-raised shellfish as we can.”

P.S. Don’t worry about being perfect
Don’t worry about being perfect – just try to be good. Too often, the teenager working the summer job behind your local fish counter or as a server at your favorite seafood restaurant may not know whether the filet of “cod” on the menu was caught off the coast of Iceland with a hook and line or on Georges Bank with bottom trawl gear (or is in fact cod at all). So try to base your seafood decisions on these four guidelines when you can.



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

OkCupid admits to Facebook-style experimenting on customers

By Sarah McBrideSAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - OkCupid, a top U.S. matchmaking website, intentionally mismatched users to test its technology, the IAC/InterActive Corp service said on…

Local

MTA fares still increasing 4 percent in newly…

The agency said the 4 percent increases, previously announced in December, will remain steady even as the MTA deals with increasing labor costs.

Local

De Blasio, Bratton defend city's efforts after Eric…

Mayor Bill de Blasio justified the city's response to the death of Eric Garner, a Staten Island man who died while in police custody earlier this month.

National

PHOTO: New Zealand Heral uses wrong image to…

The New Zealand Herald made a terrible mistake of using the wrong image to illustrate the tragic death of Staff Sergeant Guy Boyland – a New Zealand-born Israeli soldier who…

Movies

Interview: Brendan Gleeson on the way 'Calvary' depicts…

Brendan Gleeson talks about how his new film "Calvary" began over drinks and how his character here is the opposite of the lead in "The Guard."

Movies

'Get on Up' producer Mick Jagger on the…

Mick Jagger, a producer on the James Brown biopic "Get on Up," talks about the time had to tell the singer some bad news and his favorite JB record.

Television

'Glee' star Lea Michele to appear on 'Sons…

"Glee" star Lea Michele has been confirmed as a guest star in the final season of "Sons of Anarchy."

Television

TV watch list, Monday, July 28: 'The Bachelorette'…

See Andi Dorfman make her big choice on tonight's 'Bachelorette' finale.

NFL

Larry Donnell has inside track in Giants tight…

Little-known Larry Donnell of Grambling State currently has the inside track, as the second-year player has received the bulk of the first-team reps.

NFL

Computer to Jets: Start Michael Vick over Geno…

Jets general manager John Idzik says the choice of who starts between second-year quarterback Geno Smith and veteran Michael Vick will be a “Jets decision.”

MLB

Yankees looking to trade for Josh Willingham: Report

CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman reported Sunday the Yankees are interested in Twins outfielder Josh Willingham.

MLB

Joe Torre: I'm in Hall of Fame because…

Joe Torre spent 18 years putting together a near Hall of Fame career as a player. But it was the 12 years he spent as…

Travel

Glasgow: Hey, hey, the gangs aren't here

This European city has done a good job getting rid of its more violent residents and revitalizing with artists.

Education

Babson College tops list of best colleges for…

Money magazine has just released its inaugural list of "The Best Colleges for Your Money" -- and the answers have surprised many. Babson College, which…

Education

NYC teens learn how to develop apps during…

Through a program sponsored by CampInteractive, the high schoolers designed their own community-focused apps.

Tech

The Ministry of Silly Walks app is both…

Monty Python have dug into their back catalogue for cash-ins once more, but with the Ministry of Silly Walks app, they've made something that's fun too.