The Beacon

10 Tips for Sustainable Sushi Eating

Oceana recently helped out Planet Green with a blog post about how you can order sustainable seafood while still enjoying your sushi. Faced with threats such as overfishing, climate change, and ocean acidification, the oceans are in danger of collapse. Here are 10 tips from the post about how to do your part and order sustainable seafood:

1. Know your catch. Stick with wild, locally-caught fish, which is usually more eco-friendly than farmed fish that has to be transported a great distance. Also look for special-caught fish (line, poll, troll, diver-caught, and sustainably caught/harvested) instead of fish caught in huge nets on factory farming ships.

2. Say NO to “Toro.” Bluefin tuna, also known as “Toro,” is the most endangered fish you can order at a sushi restaurant. But if you have to eat tuna, we suggest US Pacific Albacore, Bigeye, and Yellowfin instead.

3. Forget about farm-raised salmon. Farm-raised salmon, a.k.a. "Atlantic" salmon creates a lot of pollution from fish waste, and are often fed unapproved antibiotics to combat prevalent diseases.

4. Shellfish lover? Buy US farmed varieties of clams, mussels, shrimp, and oysters. And be sure they are not being caught with dredges.

5. Choose local. Not only is it more likely to be fresh, but you will have a smaller carbon footprint.

6. Look for Seafood Watch Certified Restaurants. These restaurants require their menus to be sustainable and waitstaff to know which fish are on the “red” list. And by frequenting these restaurants, you are sending a message that you are aware and care about sustainable seafood. Which then makes other restaurants realize they need to become certified to stay in business.

7. Home cooks can also be sustainable. Ask the man behind the seafood counter at your grocery store about sustainable seafood choices. Buying fish is a business, and the grocery store will start asking to be stocked with more sustainable seafood.

8. Question your sushi chef. In the same way, you can affect where restaurants get their seafood by asking questions. Ask questions like “What do you think about sustainable seafood?” or “How do you know your seafood is sustainable?” If the chef skirts around the question, find a new favorite place.

9. Take responsibility. Part of the job lies with you. Educate yourself and read up on the issues. To learn more, visit Oceana’s campaign site.

10. You can be a sustainably smart sushi lover. Check out Oceana’s sustainable seafood pocket guide to understand the better choices when it comes to sushi. You can still eat your sushi, just do your homework first.


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