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How to Identify Sustainable Seafood

Know the label to look for when shopping for fish.

By Virginia Sole-Smith
FishQuentin Bacon


Beyond "country of origin," fish companies aren't required to tell you much about how they catch their fish, so if you're worried about the health of the oceans and determined to steer clear of unsustainable seafood, look for an eco-label from the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) . This international nonprofit organization uses independent certifying agencies to make sure fisheries are catching their fish in the most environmentally friendly way possible. The label now appears on more than 180 frozen, fresh, and smoked-fish products sold in grocery stores across the country, including Whole Foods and Target. Wal-Mart has committed to buying all its store-brand fish products from MSC-certified fisheries within the next two to four years. For more information, visit

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