What is sustainable seafood?
According to the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch Program, sustainable seafood is “seafood from sources, whether fished or farmed, that can maintain or increase production into the long-term without jeopardizing the structure or function of affected ecosystems from which it was acquired.” By making environmentally, economically and socially sustainable seafood choices, fishermen, fish farmers, processors, retailers, restaurants and consumers help to avoid overfishing and environmentally-destructive fishing methods. Fish that grow slowly and reproduce late in life are quite vulnerable to overfishing (such as orange roughy), whereas species that grow quickly and breed young (such as anchovies and sardines), are more resistant to overfishing.
Source: Developing Sustainable Seafood Recommendations, Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch Program
Several groups provide information and resources, such as certification of and criteria for sustainable seafood and consumer guides: NOAA’s FishWatch, Marine Stewardship Council, and Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch.