17 Types of Seafood to Avoid


There are lots of causes you would possibly wish to avoid consuming a selected species: It might be overfished, excessive in mercury, or endangered. It is perhaps caught in methods which might be dangerous to employees or the aquatic setting.

Likewise, which seafood is an effective selection will depend on quite a lot of elements, from the present standing of untamed shares to the place farmed seafood originates, as a result of nations have differing rules. And most of those circumstances change routinely.

There are guides that observe this evolving info. The Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch contains repeatedly up to date sustainability scores. The EDF ­Seafood Selector can be an excellent device.

The next are fish that incessantly seem on their “greatest prevented” lists:

Atlantic Halibut: Wild Atlantic halibut usually has excessive ranges of mercury. Pacific halibut remains to be a sensible choice.

Atlantic Salmon: Though Pacific salmon are normally wild caught, most Atlantic salmon are farmed; they’re usually raised in offshore floating cages within the Canadian Atlantic, Chile, Norway, and Scotland. They undergo from issues much like these of livestock in large-scale farms on land: They reside in crowded quarters, contract sicknesses that require antibiotics, and are fed different fish which might be harvested en masse.

Catfish, imported: Imported catfish undermines the manufacturing of U.S. farmed catfish, which tends to be responsibly farmed, utilizing minimal antibiotics.

Chilean Sea Bass: These giant, slow-growing fish have been dropped at the brink of extinction.

Cod: Shares of Atlantic cod collapsed from overfishing within the mid-Nineties and haven’t recovered. Pacific cod from Japanese fisheries are caught by trawls and are overfished. Alaskan cod, nevertheless, is effectively managed.

Crab, imported: Crab harvesting in the USA will get a excessive sustainability ranking from the EDF Seafood Selector, however the majority of imported pink and blue king crabs are harvested unsustainably by one poorly managed Russian fishery.

Freshwater Eel: Beloved by sushi followers, unagi eel charges excessive in toxins. (To study extra about the perfect and worst decisions for sushi, take a look at the EDF Seafood Selector.)

Mahi Mahi: This saltwater fish from Peru and Taiwan is usually caught with lengthy traces that appeal to bycatch.

Octopus: Most forms of this extremely smart species are overfished.

Orange Roughy: Additionally overfished, orange roughy take as much as twenty years to achieve maturity; populations require a very long time to rebound.

Pollock: It issues the place it comes from — most Atlantic and Alaskan pollock is sustainable, however Canadian and Russian fishers use gill nets, trawls, and lengthy traces that produce substantial bycatch.

Shark: Overfishing has been a catastrophe for shark populations in addition to oceans, as a result of these predators play an necessary function in sustaining biodiversity. Shark usually comprises excessive ranges of mercury.

Shrimp: Farm shrimp ponds are changing mangroves in lots of areas, contributing to shoreline erosion and worsening the influence of tsunamis. Contemporary shrimp is usually caught by trawls utilizing compelled labor. Bycatch can be a problem, with 2 to 10 kilos of different fish caught for each pound of shrimp. Until you may get wild-caught shrimp in season close to one of many U.S. coasts, it’s greatest to steer clear.

Spiny Lobster, imported: This crustacean usually comes from Belize, Brazil, Honduras, and Nicaragua, the place rules and inventory administration are weak.

Squid: Squid fisheries are largely unregulated and never effectively studied. Squid are additionally usually caught with backside and midwater trawls, with substantial bycatch.

Swordfish: This grand saltwater fish usually comprises excessive ranges of mercury and is usually caught with longlines.

Tuna: Tuna — together with albacore, bluefin, skipjack, and yellowfin — can accumulate excessive mercury content material, and it’s usually unsustainably caught and overfished. Japanese hamachi (Pacific yellowtail tuna), beloved by sushi followers, usually comprises excessive ranges of poisons. Pole-caught tuna is rather more sustainable.

This was excerpted from “Learn how to Discover Sustainable Seafood” which was printed within the June 2022 problem of Expertise Life.