Eating sustainable seafood can be a serious foodie challenge. Sure, you can refer to the Seafood Watch guide like a fishy bible — but a lot of fish appear on multiple categories ("best choices," "good alternatives" and "avoid") depending on where and how they were caught or farmed. Trying to find out the nitty-gritty details on a seafood dish in a restaurant (Is that salmon King or Chinook or something else? Farmed or wild caught? Where from?) can be a really trying experience — both for the diner and the busy waiter subjected to your inquiries.
Want to enjoy freshly grilled seafood — without grilling the waiter? Spend your dining dollars at a restaurant committed to sustainable seafood, but I'll warn you: finding these restaurants isn't easy, unfortunately. A website called Fish2Fork offers rankings and research on seafood sustainability for restaurants — but is tough to use because it doesn't let you search by ZIP code to find the sustainable seafood restaurants near you. That said, if you have a particular restaurant in mind, you can search for it by name, and hope that it's one of the ones listed and rated in the database. (Many of the restaurants listed are in the U.K., but it's a growing database.)
If you live in California, you're a little luckier. Two aquariums — the Monterey Bay Aquarium and the Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach — both have sustainable seafood programs that partner with local restaurants. Check out their partner lists — here's Monterey's, and here's Pacific's — to find the sustainable seafood restaurants in the Monterey Bay area and Southern California.
Know of other programs — either national or local — that make sustainable seafood restaurants easy to find? Share what you know with the rest of us in the comments.
As for cooking seafood at home, you can choose to shop at the supermarkets known to offer sustainable seafood by using Greenpeace's Supermarket Scorecard (Safeway, Target and Wegmans are actually better options than Whole Foods and Trader Joe's), or use Monterey Bay Aquarium's Seafood Watch Guide to point you toward more sustainable species wherever you shop.
Seafood lovers: How do you go about picking sustainable options, whether dining in or out?