A Guide to Sustainable Fish

In the summertime, grilled fish is good eats. Most of us know of the health benefits of fish and seafood considering the protein and omega-3 fatty acids they store. Fish can be tricky though, when it comes to doing what is best for the environment and our health. Fishing practices worldwide have depleted fish populations at an alarming rate, destroyed habitats, and polluted the water. Toxins in the water can make the prospect of eating certain fish less appealing. Making better informed decisions about the kind of fish you consume can benefit your health and the environment, and fortunately, resources are available to make this easier. Here’s some:

Minnesota Monthly’s Dara Moskowitz Grumdahl summarized the most sustainable fish from Minnesota and Wisconsin in her April 2008 guide to “No-Guilt Fish.”

The Monterey Bay Aquarium has done extensive research on sustainable fish and seafood. They have scads of tools, from pocket guides to iPhone apps, to help you make informed decisions.

Concerned about toxins in the water and how the fish you eat might carry those toxins? Be smarter about your fish consumption with the Smart Fish Calculator from the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy.

If you want to do some cooking yourself, head to Coastal Seafoods. The folks at Coastal make an effort to carry sustainably sourced fish, and are knowledgeable about their products.

Need a night out? Several restaurants in the Twin Cities are preparing sustainably sourced fish and seafood, most notably, Sea Change, the Minneapolis restaurant that focuses on sustainable seafood and highlights fisheries that use sustainable harvesting methods.

Having some good information and knowing what questions to ask can help make eating fish healthier for you, your family, and the environment. Read, ask questions, and above all, enjoy!