Making It Easy to Choose Sustainable Seafood

Right now, I'm 30,000 feet in the air on a Delta flight to Tampa. I got so excited about something I read in Sky, their in-flight magazine that I had to log in to blog about it.  If you're a regular reader, you may have seen the recent post I did on eating invasive species of seafood out of existence to ensure native seafood thrives.

But how does the average person not steeped in sustainable cuisine learn what seafood is ok to eat and what might be threatened by extinction and overfishing?  I just read about two cool new technologies that make eating sustainable seafood a snap and here they are:

1. Monterey Bay Aquarium has created "Seafood Watch" a handy guide that you can search from the web, download a iPhone or mobile app or go old-school and print a pocket card to keep in your wallet.

2. Blue Ocean Institute developed few different takes in addition to the search function and guides on their website. You can text their "Fish Phone" at 30644 with "fish + (your fish selection)" right there from a restaurant. They will text you back a score of "green, yellow or red" plus an alternative selection if you've made a harmful choice. Hint: Go ahead and add it to your mobile phone contacts so that you can impress your foodie friends at the table.  Blue Ocean also offers a free widget for your website or blog with easy-to-copy code. I've added it to my blog on the right hand side.

I get all nerdy happy when I see technology helping solve problems and spreading positive messages. Of course, there is no substitute for asking the chef or server about your menu choices, where they come from and if they are sustainably harvested.  After all, the biggest impact we can make is using our hard-earned dollars to make smarter selections that are healthier for us -- and our waterways.


Kelly at Local Foodie Fight said...

I have heard about this app. I like the idea of things that help you choose better fish that are sustainable and have less mercury, etc. I always go out to eat, try to make the right choice, only to come home and realize that I didnt. boo. though I dont have an iphone....

Tammy Gordon said...

Kelly - I don't have an iPhone either (boo!!) but I added that text Fish Phone to my contacts and can't wait to try it while down here in Florida this weekend.

@jeffdonald said...

Have to put in a plug for my old colleagues at NOAA who created the FishWatch site ( that is also a good source for sustainability info. It also gives info on steps being taken to rebuild overfished species.

Not iPhone ready yet (it is the gov't afterall) but definitely worth being on the list.

Tammy Gordon said...

Awesome to hear that NOAA's on it too! I hope they have mobile in the works, that would be great.

Ali said...

Awesome post, because of my love for shark conservation this topic fascinates me!