Here are some best practices to follow and certification labels to look out for when you’re shopping in the seafood aisle.

By Kaitlyn Pirie and Betty Gold
October 10, 2019
Peter Oumanski

When you shop for seafood, you want to make smart choices, both for your family and for the environment. For fish to be considered sustainable, it must be caught or farmed in 
a way that doesn’t harm the environment and in which fish can thrive in the future, says Jennifer Dianto Kemmerly, the director of the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch program. These eco-friendly tips will help you navigate the potentially murky waters. 

Peter Oumanski

Use Your Smartphone

What’s sustainable one day may not be the next, so download the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch app to stay abreast. Alaskan salmon and Pacific cod are usually smart picks.

Look for Labels

Like those from the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC), the Best Aquaculture Practices (BAC) emblem from the Global Aquaculture Alliance, or the Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) on seafood packaging. Fisheries using these identifiers are independently monitored. Walmart is an excellent option if you're interested in finding fish and seafood options that tout these trustworthy emblems: their seafood options approved by the MSC, Global Aquaculture Alliance, and Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute are verified to meet quality standards that ensure a healthier ocean.

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Get to Know Your Fishmonger

Talk to your market's fishmonger to gather all the information you can about the source of your seafood. They'll also be able to tell you if your fish was wild-caught (i.e., caught in its natural habitat by fishermen) or farm-raised (i.e., seafood bred in enclosures or tanks contained within a larger body of water such as a lake, in a practice known as aquaculture).