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Choose responsibly-farmed fish

By Shomik Ghosh |
Some farmed fish can harm water quality and biodiversity, and may be fed unsustainable carnivorous diets that increase their toxin levels.
Choose responsibly and sustainably farmed fish, that is, species that have been raised on a low-protein diet with consideration of the environmental impact of fish farms on water quality, ecosystems, habitats, and biodiversity.

Find it! Responsibly and sustainably farmed fish

Below you'll find a variety of seafood providers, all of which offer some sustainable fish and seafood. However, be aware that many companies sell both eco-friendly and non-sustainably harvested products, so you'll want to verify your purchase before fishing out your cash.

How to choose responsibly farmed fish

  1. Choose species that have been raised on a low-protein diet. Some species, such as tilapia, eat significantly less protein than others, making them more sustainable to raise. Find information on farm practices by fish type with the Environmental Defense Fund's Seafood Selector or the Monterey Bay Aquarium's Seafood Watch guide.
  2. Avoid carnivorous farmed species such as salmon and tuna. They require smaller wild fish to be caught for food, which is often caught with trawlers or drift nets. This, in turn, reduces the food supply and biodiversity in wild ecosystems, and increases pressure on fishmeal species. Finally, because of a diet rich in fatty, smaller fish, these carnivorous farmed fish may have increased toxin levels.
  3. When purchasing at retailers, markets, and restaurants, ask where the seafood comes from and how it is raised.
  4. Look for labels indicating certification or reliable standards, keeping in mind that some standards are more stringent than others.

Choosing responsibly-farmed fish helps you go green because…

  • Wild fish populations will not suffer as a result of food shortages due to the harvest of food for carnivorous farmed fish.
  • Where the fish is farmed, local water quality and habitat will benefit from ecologically-friendly practices.
  • Choosing fish raised on low-protein diets helps ensure healthy, wild ecosystems.
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