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A Guide to Sustainable Fish

Did you know that 20% of Americans are classified as frequent seafood eaters? This means that they eat seafood at least twice a week.

Perhaps you yourself eat seafood for its health benefits, or you like the taste (or both!). Either way, it can have a detrimental effect on the environment, whether you knew that or not. In any case, you might be feeling guilty about eating fish now.

If you want to be more responsible in your eating habits but still want to indulge in seafood, then you’re in the right place. Here’s a guide to sustainable fish you can eat guilt-free!


This is the best type of sustainable fish to eat if you’re not an adventurous eater and want to stick with something that you’re familiar with. While you can get them in tins and jars, you can also get anchovies fresh if you wish.

Are you wondering why anchovies are sustainable? It’s because they’re at the bottom of the food chain! Plus, they’re one of the quickest fish to repopulate, so overfishing isn’t as much a concern here.

Do note that you should look at the labels to see where your anchovies are coming from. Avoid getting anchovies from Peru or the Southeast Pacific, as these anchovy populations need some time to repopulate. The best choice is the Northeast Atlantic.

Farmed Arctic Char

Arctic char can be a good fish to fry up, but only if it’s been farmed.

Farmed fish has a bad reputation, especially since farmed salmon isn’t deemed as good as their wild counterparts. However, Arctic char actually does really well when farmed!

Another added benefit is that Arctic char are raised in a recirculating aquaculture system (RAS), which is considered a clean way of fish farming. So when you eat this type of fish, you can rest assured that you’re not putting additional strain on the environment!


Hake is a type of whitefish that’s in the same family as cod. So if you’ve got recipes that call for cod, simply replace it with hake and you’ll be good!

This fish is sustainable so long as you buy those that are sourced from Europe. But if all you can find is hake that’s been certified by the MSC, it’s fine too.

Alaskan Salmon

You might’ve heard that salmon is very good for your health, due to its omega-3 fatty acids. But understandably, you want to add it to your diet only if it can be sustainably caught.

Wild-caught fish is good here, no matter which of the 5 types of Alaskan salmon you go with. Salmon’s highly regulated, and not to mention, the stocks are healthy, so you’re sure to get good fish.

And the way they’re caught (pole and line, or troll) is sustainable as well! You won’t have to worry about salmon fishing making a huge impact on the planet.

Albacore Tuna

Albacore tuna is excellent if you want to eat fish on a budget, as it comes in affordable cans. This white meat is versatile, so it’s no wonder why it’s so popular.

When buying tuna, look for Canadian and US Pacific-sourced Albacore tuna. Not only that, but they should be caught by either troll or poll. This ensures that other sea life (such as dolphins) aren’t harmed in the fishing process.

Farmed Bivalves

Do you like to eat shellfish, such as clams, oysters, mussels, or scallops? Well, the good news is, you can keep indulging in them if you get farmed bivalves!

These mollusks are sustainable because they can get nutrients straight from the water. This means there’s no need for commercial feeds.

In addition, while fish create a significant amount of waste in water, bivalves don’t.

Do note that if you must have bivalves but can’t find any that are farmed, those caught by diving are sustainable too! So that’s a great alternative.

Shrimp and Prawns

If you love paella, then the good news is, you won’t have to give up shrimp and prawns to make this tasty dish!

However, it can be tricky to find sustainably raised shrimp and prawns. Not only should you look for shellfish that’s farmed, but they also need to be evaluated by either the Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC), Best Aquaculture Practice (BAP), or Global Aquaculture Alliance (GAA).

If you want to get wild-caught shellfish here, then try to stick with those sourced from Oregon, the Gulf of Mexico, or British Columbia. These are places with the best practices for catching wild shrimp and prawns. All others might use bottom trawl nets, which can catch a lot of other wildlife and kill them.

Stone Crab

If you’re not one for fish, but would rather eat crabs, then a good type of sustainable seafood here is stone crab. The claw meat is certainly a delicacy for many, and it’ll be pleasant to have on any dining table, whether it’s a dinner for your family or a meal for a party.

What’s great is that stone crabs can regrow their claws. This means that this type of crab doesn’t have to be killed to get its claws.

If this has gotten you interested in stone crabs, then visit to get yourself some tasty crab meat that’s sustainable.

Try These Sustainable Fish to Satiate Your Seafood Cravings

Just because you love seafood and most of its practices aren’t eco-friendly doesn’t necessarily mean you have to give it up. As you can see, there are many sustainable fish choices you can switch to.

As a result, you’ll be able to keep fish in your diet and you won’t feel guilty about it. So make sure that if you’ve got friends who love seafood, you let them know about these sustainable alternatives so they can do their part in looking after the planet and its resources!

Want to learn more about ethically-sourced food? Then keep reading our blog page today!

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