Eco-Friendly Seafood and Others to Avoid

By Helen Dauka

If you received the Keep Akron Beautiful January Newsletter (easy signup to receive future newsletters is at the left of our homepage), you may have noticed a sidebar article called Seafood Watch. The article briefly covered a ranking system issued by the Monterey Bay Aquarium that separates seafood into three different categories based on their sustainability.

We outlined what the three categories entailed, but didn’t have enough space to list what fish are in each category. What better place to do so than our blog!

So if you’re planning on dining out this weekend, check out these lists to make sure your entrée is part of the Best Choices group.

seafood, sustainable seafood

Picture courtesy of, which offers more insight on seafood sustainability. Click on picture to go to that site.

Best Choices

  • Artic Char (farmed)
  • Barramundi (US farmed)
  • Catfish  (US farmed)
  • Clams, Mussels, Oysters (farmed)
  • Cod: Pacific (US non-trawled)
  • Crab: Dungeness, Stone Halibut: Pacific (US)
  • Lobster: California Spiny (US)
  • Perch: Yellow (Lake Erie)
  • Sablefish/Black Cod (Alaska & Canada)
  • Salmon (Alaska wild)
  • Sardines: Pacific (US)
  • Scallops (farmed)
  • Shrimp: Pink (Oregon)
  • Striped Bass (farmed & wild)
  • Tilapia (US farmed)
  • Trout: Rainbow (US farmed)
  • Tuna: Albacore (Canada & US Pacific, troll/pole)
  • Tuna: Skipjack, Yellowfin (US troll/pole)
  • Whitefish: Lake (Lake Huron & Superior)
  • Whitefish: Lake (Lake Michigan, trap-net)
fishing methods

Snippet of fishing methods courtesy of Click on picture for more information, such as environmental impact of each method.

Good Alternatives

  • Basa/Pangasius/Swai (farmed)
  • Caviar, Sturgeon (US farmed)
  • Clams, Oysters (wild)
  • Cod: Pacific (US trawled)
  • Crab: Blue, King (US), Snow
  • Flounder: Summer (US Atlantic)
  • Grouper: Black, Red (US Gulf of Mexico)
  • Herring: Atlantic, Lake
  • Lobster: American, Maine
  • Mahi Mahi (US)
  • Perch: Yellow (Lake Ontario & Huron)
  • Pollock: Alaska (US)
  • Salmon (CA, OR, WA, wild)
  • Scallops (wild)
  • Shrimp (US, Canada)
  • Smelt: Rainbow
  • Swordfish (US)
  • Tilapia (Central & South America farmed)
  • Trout: Lake (Lake Huron & Superior)
  • Tuna: Bigeye, Tongol, Yellowfin (troll/pole)
  • Walleye
  • Whitefish: Lake (Lake Michegan, gillnet)


  • Caviar, Sturgeon (imported wild)
  • Chilean Seabass/Toothfish
  • Cod: Atlantic (Canada & US)
  • Crab King (imported)Flounders, Halibut, Soles (US Atlantic, except Summer Flounder)
  • Groupers (US Atlantic)
  • Lobster: Spiny (Brazil)
  • Mahi Mahi (imported longline)
  • Monkfish
  • Orange Roughy
  • Salmon (farmed including Atlantic)
  • Sharks
  • Shrimp (imported)
  • Snapper: Red
  • Swordfish (imported)
  • Tilapia (Asia farmed)
  • Trout: Lake (Lake Michigan)
    Tuna: Albacore, Bigeye, Skipjack, Tongol, Yellowfin (except troll/pole)
  • Tuna: Bluefin
  • Tuna: Canned (excpet troll/pole)

What does each category mean?

Being a Best Choice means that the seafood is abundant and caught or farmed in environmentally friendly ways.

Good Alternatives  are an option but there are concerns with how they’re caught or farmed—or with the health of their habitat due to other human impacts.

Being in the Avoid category means that for now, these items are overfished or caught or farmed in ways that harm other marine life or the environment.

For more information on Seafood Watch, visit the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch Website.

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