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Seafood Stand
A sustainable seafood stand in England offers shoppers ocean-friendly food choices. Image: © J. Simpson-MSC/Marine Photobank

When it comes to many of our once-favorite seafoods, there aren't plenty more fish in the sea. Population sizes of seafood species vary over time—both naturally and depending on how heavily they are fished. Some are clearly in good shape, and those are excellent seafood choices. Others have experienced dramatic declines due to over harvesting or environmental fluctuations, and choosing those seafood items contributes to the problem.

You can make wise choices at the restaurant or grocery store by consulting a sustainable seafood guide. (Sustainable means that the species can maintain a healthy population and the natural balance is not disrupted by harvesting.) Here are some resources to get you started:

Smithsonian Sustainable Seafood Website

The Monterey Bay Aquarium's Seafood Watch Program

The Seafood Choice Alliance

The Blue Ocean Institute

At the store, look for The Marine Stewardship Council's seal of approval or visit their website for a listing of stores that carry sustainable seafood. If you forget to bring your seafood guide with you to a store or restaurant, you can check a species' status by text message using the Blue Ocean Institute's Fish Phone service.

For the latest information on the science and status of marine
fisheries, visit NOAA's FishWatch at



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