FOOD + DRINK, RECIPES + menus | March 24, 2010

Sustainable Seafood Made Easy

ocean-friendly eating habits made easy by the Seafood watch iphone app

I changed my buying habits when I cook fish at home. I am not alone. More and more people are committed to eat sustainable fish and seafood. We start to see fish markets that indicate ocean-friendly choices.

To know which seafood to buy and which ones to avoid is not easy. It is not only about the population of a certain seafood. Factors like the impact on the ecosystem of the fishing techniques must be analyzed up to the level of mercury in water and  the food chain. Besides the fact that we should try to avoid the biggest fish from the ocean, how can we make sure that we make the right choice.

Free Online Tools to the Rescue

seafood watch tools and ocean wise conservation program

This is why I went of a search for reliable and easy to use tools that I can carry with me when I shop or go to the restaurants. Select the tools for where you live because the recommendations reflect what seafood is available in the country where you live.

In the United States

Seafood Watch is a great site which tell the American consumers which seafood to buy or to avoid. Their recommendation list is well documented. You can download a pocket guide or a free iPhone app to know what to do where you are at a restaurant or buying fish at the store. Plus, you can search on their site to status on a specific fish. I like the fact that they provide us the sustainable alternatives are easy to find.

In Canada

sea choice iphone app

My first stop was an initiative of the Vancouver Aquarium. They created 5 years ago a conservation program program called Ocean Wise. You can look for the Ocean Wise logo at restaurants, at the fish counter or on fish packaging (cans). They do a good educational job but the reach of Ocean Wise logo is still limited. Learn more about the Ocean Wise classification here.

Five respected Canadian conservation organizations formed SeaChoice to help Canadians take an active role in supporting sustainable fisheries and aquaculture at all levels of the seafood supply chain. They are the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society, the David Suzuki Foundation, Ecology Action Center, Living Oceans Society and Sierra Club British Columbia.

Like Seafood Watch, SeaChoice provides consumers with easy to carry guides that you can download online. SeaChoice created a pocket guide (in French and in English) and a free iPhone app.

I downloaded both iPhone apps. None will win awards for their interface. I prefer the look and feel of the Seafood Watch but both apps deliver useful information to help us making the right choice.

LEARN MORE at:
+ SeaChoice where you can download the pocket guide and the SeaChoice iPhone app
+ Find an Ocean Wise restaurant near you – across Canada
+ Seafood Watch – where you can search online, download the pocket guide and the Seafood Watch iPhone app

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