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I would like to start a list of sustainable fish. I'm not trying to stir up any political discussion. I would just like an easily referenced list of fish that people could choose off of if they choose. I would also like for answers to include flavor and substitution beyond the info necessary for purchase. I know that this isn't exactly on topic, but it's a resource i think we would be better off by having.

Sustainable would be defined in two ways - Fish that isn't being over-fished or farmed and thus is no danger of extinction, and fish that when farmed doesn't pose a danger to the ocean in which it is farmed. If somebody has a better definition, please feel free to tweak.

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closed as off topic by rumtscho Mar 2 '12 at 12:40

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It's trickier than you might think because some endangered special are also farmed (or so was claimed after Al Gore's daughter's wedding : telegraph.co.uk/earth/earthnews/3300915/… ) –  Joe Aug 13 '10 at 1:44
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3 Answers 3

The National Resources Defense Council and the Environmental Defense Fund both already have such lists. For the United States, the Monterey Bay Aquarium in California produces regional guides.

The World Wildlife Foundation gives links to guides for multiple countries.

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Well that simplifies things a bit. –  hobodave Aug 13 '10 at 1:22
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+1 The Monterey Bay Aquarium makes pocket-foldable lists tailored for specific types of fish, e.g. sushi, or regions. You can carry the list in your wallet and refer to it before ordering at a restaurant, for example. –  kevins Aug 13 '10 at 16:31
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+1 The Monterey Bay Aquarium also makes it available as an iphone app: montereybayaquarium.org/cr/SeafoodWatch/web/sfw_iPhone.aspx I use it all the time. –  lukecyca Aug 13 '10 at 22:25
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The easiest metric is size: the smaller the fish, the more sustainably it can be harvested.

Top of the food chain fish like tuna take much longer to grow and require tons of high quality protein, as opposed to trout and catfish which can live on bugs an algae. The most sustainable fish are things like sardines.

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I would recommend Bottomfeeder if you're interested in this topic. It takes you on a tour of the issues involved with eating seafood in a sustainable way that doesn't endanger your health due to contaminants.

Programs from Monterey Bay Aquarium's Seafood Watch or Vancouver Aquarium's Ocean Wise are great, but there other issues at play, such as the mislabeling and obfuscation of a fish's species and origin. Bottomfeeder does a great job of explaining them.

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