1. Food

Choose Sustainable Sushi

By October 28, 2008

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sustainable sushi selectorAnyone who cares about eating fish and seafood that is being sustainably caught needs one of the new pocket guides released by the Monterey Bay Aquarium, the Blue Ocean Institute and the Environmental Defense Fund.


Sushi has gone international, and demand for the classic fish served in this Japanese specialty has soared, in some cases to dangerous levels. Bluefin tuna is the most known case of this. And unsurprisingly, the watchdog groups want us to avoid eating bluefin, which can come as maguro, chu-toro or toro at the sushi bar.


But a look at the list says to avoid many of my favorites: All tuna except for some specific, American-caught varieties (see my Buy American article), red snapper, flounder (this one seems odd -- flounder stocks are not in trouble), and my absolute fav, hamachi, or yellowtail.


What's on their good list? Well, a few of my other favorites make an appearance, which is good: wild salmon, mackerel, halibut and striped bass, known as suzuki.


My advice? Know what's on the list and order accordingly. As for me, I will do my best to avoid eating bluefin tuna, but I won't give up my hamachi or unagi -- I may just eat a little less of it.


Photo copyright 2008 Monterey Bay Aquarium


October 28, 2008 at 4:11 pm
(1) Tom says:

Hank – Flounder is in real trouble here on the East Coast; limits on both recreational and commercial fishermen have shrunk dramatically as stocks continue to show signs of extreme distress. Although the striped bass is an example of a species that recovered fantastically due to harsh fishing limits, the flounder has so far not shown any signs of recovery.

October 29, 2008 at 10:58 am
(2) fishcooking says:

Well I’ll be dipped! Both summer and winter flounder back East were fine when I lived there in the late 1980s-early 1990s. Winter flounder were getting scarcer, especially those delicious showshoes off Montauk, but you could still rack ‘em up in the back bays.

What about the “gray sole,” which I grew up calling Witch flounder? I thought they were in good shape? And out here, I am pretty sure Petrale sole and what Californians erroneously call Dover sole are in decent shape…right?

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