The term “sustainable seafood” describes seafood and fish that is harvested by using ecologically responsible methods.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is tasked with regulating ocean fishing in the U.S. through implementing the Sustainable Fisheries Act. All NOAA governed fisheries are required to have fishery management plans that are designed to result in sustainable fisheries.

Consumers who purchase seafood managed under a U.S. fishery management plan can be assured that the seafood meets 10 National Standards ( that ensure fish stocks are maintained, overfishing is eliminated, and socioeconomic benefits to the U.S. are achieved.

When shopping for or ordering fish, ask your local seafood dealer or restaurant owner about the source and catch methods of your seafood choices.  Consumer concern is a major promoter of sustainable fisheries.


Monterey Bay Aquarium  – Seafood Watch Program –
Monterey Bay’s seafood Watch Program makes recommendations on which seafood to buy and avoid. The program also assists consumers in selecting fish that is caught or farmed using environmentally responsible methods in order to achieve and maintain healthy and abundant oceans.

Good Fish –
Companion site to the book Good Fish. Contains how-to educational videos on pre-cooking seafood prep, plus a link to her friend’s blog, who cooked all 75 recipes in the Good Fish book, with notes and tips!!!

Long Beach Aquarium of the Pacific–Seafood for the Future –
Seafood for the Future (SFF) is AOP’s non-profit seafood advisory program.

National Geographic – Sustainable Seafood –
(When you arrive on this web page, find “Ocean Topics” on the right part of the screen and scroll down to and select Sustainable Seafood).  Includes a seafood decision guide, advice on choosing “ocean-friendly substitutes to eat, tips from Chef Barton Seaver, plus his TED talk on sustainable Seafood, with transcript.

NOAA – Fish Watch –
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s comprehensive site focused on fish sustainability with sections on seafood profiles, farmed and wild caught seafood, choosing sustainable seafood, avoiding seafood fraud, and seafood safety in the kitchen during meal preparation.

NOAA Fisheries, Office of Sustainable Fisheries –
The Office of Sustainable Fisheries manages fish stocks of commercial, recreational and subsistence fisheries through communication with the Regional Fishery Management councils. The OSF also oversees the enforcement of catch limits, reports to Congress on the status of U.S. fisheries and publishes regulations and policies in the Federal Register.


  • Uses your phone’s GPS to load the right regional guide for your location
  • Includes a sushi guide, which lists fish names in Japanese and English
  • Glossary explains fishing terms like gillnetting, pelagic trawling and hydraulic dredging
  • All seafood is color-coded as “best choice” (green), “good alternative” (yellow) or “avoid” (red)
  • Available in Google Play for Android devices and in the App Store for Apple Devices, Free

Seafood Finder – Marine Stewardship Council

  • Promotes MSC labeled seafood to consumers worldwide in over 5 languages & 75 countries
  • Seafood database is updated daily, searchable by fish species, brands / retailers, fresh or frozen
  • Informs users about the sustainable fisheries from which the product was sourced
  • Available in Google Play for Android devices and in the App Store for Apple Devices, Free.
  • Uses your smartphone’s GPS to find fresh, local seafood from fishermen just off the boat, from local seafood markets, ports and restaurants
  • Includes a Community-Supported Fishery directory of North America from
  • Available in Google Play for Android devices and in the App Store for Apple Devices, Free.

Fish Phone – Blue Ocean Institute (provides ratings for Whole Foods)

  • Includes a 5-category ranking system and suggestions on alternatives to over-fished species
  • Offers recipes and wine pairings to complement select seafood
  • Available in Google Play for Android devices and in the App Store for Apple Devices, Free
  • Searchable database by common fish name
  • Includes a ‘traffic light’ rating system of fish to eat often, on occasion or not at all
  • Available in Google Play for Android devices and in the App Store for Apple Devices, Free
  • Explores the sustainability of 90 seafood species commonly found in markets, fish & chip shops and restaurants in Australia
  • Evaluates the sustainability of commercial fisheries and aquaculture operations to provide information as a guide to consumers who buy seafood
  • Available in Google Play for Android devices and in the App Store for Apple Devices, Free


Discover these great resources at Cabrillo Marine Aquarium’s Virginia Reid Moore Marine Research Library

American Catch: The fight for our local Seafood / Paul Greenberg. Penquin Books, 2014.  SH221 .G74 2014

Fish Forever / Johnson, Paul. Wiley &Sons, 2007. TX747 .J63 2007

Fish Tales: stories & recipes from sustainable fisheries around the World / Bart van Olphen & Tom Kime.  Kyle Books, 2010. TX747 .O444 2010

For Cod and Country / Seaver, Barton.  TX747 .S376 2011

Four Fish: The Future of the Last Wild Food / Paul Greenberg. Penguin Books, 2010.  SH167 .S17 G74 2010

Good Fish: Sustainable Seafood recipes from the Pacific Coast / Selengut,  Becky. TX747.S3793 2011

Overfishing: What everyone needs to know / Ray Hilborn. Oxford Univ. Press, 2012.  SH329 .O94 H55 2012

The Perfect Protein / Andy Sharpless & Suzannah Evans. Oceana, 2013.  SH136 .S88 S53 2013

Seagan Eating / Amy Cramer & Lisa McComesy. TarcherPerigee, 2016.  TX747 .C79 2016

Two if by Sea / Barton Seaver. Sterling Epicure, 2016.  TX747 .S376 2016


Sustainability and Global Seafood. Martin D. Smith, et al. Science, Vol. 327, No. 5967, pp.784-786 (2010)

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