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A List of Sustainable Fish and Seafood. Which Fish You Should and Shouldn't Eat.

Updated on January 19, 2012

You'd rather not support destructive fishing practices and don't relish the thought of an endangered species on the BBQ – but on the other hand, you’re no marine biologist either and you would like to enjoy the taste and health benefits of a bit of fresh ocean fish every now and again.

What to do…?

Well, learning more about sustainable fishing practices and supporting fisheries that follow ecological guidelines would be the ideal, but if you've not got the time for that at the moment, just take a look at the following list of fish that are in abundant supply and that are fished using sustainable methods, and buy with a clear conscience.

Seafood That Is Sustainable or Farmed in a Responsible Manner. Seafood You can feel good about eating!)

Pacific Cod.

Never buy Atlantic Cod. Atlantic cod is one the most severely depleted fish stocks in the northern hemisphere. Pacific cod is a great substitute, and the fishery is strong, well regulated and authorities watch bycatch figures closely (Bycatch are fish of the wrong species that are caught and released, often dead, back to sea. Bycatch is not good.)

Skipjack Tuna

Avoid Big Eye, Albacore and Bluefin Tuna, all of which are depleted.


Abalone can be farmed with very minimal environmental impact, and are a very sound ecological choice. Much better than farmed salmon, which requires up to 3kg of caught sea fish to gain 1 kg in weight.


These little guys mate young and grow fast and their short lifespan makes the species more resilient to the impact of fishery. Mahi-Mahi are also very tasty.

Farmed Oysters

Because the quality of water is very important for the safety and taste of shellfish, oyster farming maintains high standards for its immediate environment and for water quality.

Imitation Crab Meat

Since most imitation crab meat is made from Alsakan Pollock, and that fishery is quite sustainable, imitation crabmeat is also OK.

Florida Stone Crab

These trap caught crab are in a sense farmed. Their claws are snipped one at a time, and since the crabs can regenerate claws, the crabs are not killed.

The Dungenes crab is also a very good choice.

American Caviar

Do not buy imported Russian caviar. Sturgeon stocks in the Caspian Sea are perilously low. American farmed Sturgeon are used for American caviar, and it is a much preferable alternative.


Catfish are farmed inland and fed a vegetable based diet. These 2 factors make farmed catfish a very sustainable choice.

Arctic Char

Also farmed inland. A good choice.


Almost all clams sold have been farmed, and like oysters, clams must be grown in good quality water conditions to be safe for consumption. This makes the fishery very ecologically responsible.


Like for clams, the mussel fishery is a responsible fishery.

Black Sea Bass

Although Black Sea Bass was once in jeopardy, Atlantic stocks have replenished nicely, and the fish is no longer deemed "over fished".

Pacific Sole (Dover Sole)

Atlantic Sole, by contrast, is overfished and a no-no.

Pacific Plaice

A much better option than overfished and depleted Atlantic Plaice.


Squid is jig fished, and there is virtually no bycatch. You can eat squid with a clear conscience.

Take a look at the links below if you have any questions about a fish not on the above list.

Video on Bycatch


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    • midnightbliss profile image

      Haydee Anderson 8 years ago from Hermosa Beach

      thanks for the info. It's a pity that there are a lot of fishes that are in the brink of extinction due to over fariming.

    • equusport profile image

      equusport 8 years ago from Horse Captial of the World

      Great hub! Informative and well done. I love seafood and your list of fish that are in abundant supply is important to note. Loved the article!

    • Rob Jundt profile image

      Rob Jundt 9 years ago from Midwest USA

      Great info!