Eco Fish + Sushi? There’s an App for that! ~ Elleni Cladis

Via elephant journal
on Feb 19, 2010
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sea food

“There is a free app called Seafood Watch that will tell you what fish are best to buy and other interesting information. Always handy to have at the fish counter or restaurant.”

Update: Pacific Bluefin Tuna: Population Drops 97% Due to Overfishing (

“When the last tree has been cut down, the last fish caught, the last river poisoned, only then will we realize that one cannot eat money.”

From Reddit, a helpful summary:

-nimblenavigator 309 points

Tuna is an apex predator, as well as a keystone species. They are like wolves in Yellowstone.

They are responsible for maintaining the overall balance of their ecosystem through proper trophic dynamics. If there aren’t enough Tuna, then the population of their prey will explode, which will decrease the population of the prey’s prey, etc etc. It is a huge, massive food web. Example:

So, without Tuna there are going to be some problems. Maybe a different species will expand their range, maybe not, but there are many different types of Tuna and this article is about Bluefin. There are still very, very healthy populations of Tuna out there, mostly around the United States because we actually try to take care of our fisheries.

For example, Albacore is fine to eat as the North Atlantic fishery is well maintained and has a healthy population. From the Pacific, some Yellowfin Tuna populations, mostly in the Western Central Pacific are actually still sustainable and the fishery is doing well and all fish are caught using hand lines. So if you get Tuna be sure to get Central Pacific Yellowfin!

Here is Monterey’s seafood recommendation for Tuna:

They have a list like that for nearly any fish species that humans eat so I do recommend checking it out and using it to buy sustainable food.

Want your grandkids to be able to eat it? Finally: it’s Easy being Green (while eating Sushi).

Okay people.  Now there’s no excuse. The choice of being sustainable when choosing fish has never been so easy.

Monterey Bay Aquarium, known for its Seafood Watch that “recommends which seafood to buy or avoid, helping consumers and businesses become advocates for ocean-friendly seafood,” just has come out with the Seafood Watch app for Apple’s iPhone or iPhone touch.

Whether sushi, or any other fish dish is the meal of choice, Seafood Watch has your back – whip out your iPhone or mobile phone with internet connection and double check to make sure you don’t support the continuing overfishing and depletion of our seafood resources and oceans with your fish selection (for those of us who are without either app, or who still are technologically challenged, there is the Seafood Watch print-out pocket guide via the web site).

Remember: if you love fish, you don’t want to overfish it, or availability will go away—often for years if not forever.

What’s this about overfishing and the un-sustainability of our seafood? Well, for starters, just consider the origin of the species. Not Darwin’s…but how, for those of us in land-locked Colorado, fish gets on our plates and palates. Not going into too many specifics (the Wall Street Journal a couple years back did an excellent piece on where sushi fish really comes from, click here to read the full investigative story), the sushi fish is caught off either coast of good ‘ole US of A, immediately frozen, shipped across the globe to international markets where it is sliced and diced, and then sent back to America…eventually to end up in front of you on a fun Friday night at your favorite sushi bar. It’s neither eco-responsible or sustainably-harvested, typically.

And, to put it in even simpler terms thanks to Elephant’s creator, Waylon Lewis: “Sushi is about as fresh as frozen peas.”

Which, when you think about it, is not fresh, not even a little bit.

Still, there is no reason why people shouldn’t enjoy sushi (click here to read a young woman’s tale about her love of sushi and why she’s okay with it, even after Waylon almost peer-mindful-pressured her away from it) – just as long as they know how to be responsible to our earth and environment when choosing which fish to select, information which is now at the tip of your fingers with the Seafood Watch app.

There’s a lot of work to be done on this front, but check out Waylon’s old-timey video below for some helpful hints in making your next sushi experience a lot more enjoyable and sustainable for the earth and for the future.


About elephant journal

elephant journal is dedicated to "bringing together those working (and playing) to create enlightened society." We're about anything that helps us to live a good life that's also good for others, and our planet. >>> Founded as a print magazine in 2002, we went national in 2005 and then (because mainstream magazine distribution is wildly inefficient from an eco-responsible point of view) transitioned online in 2009. >>> elephant's been named to 30 top new media lists, and was voted #1 in the US on twitter's Shorty Awards for #green content...two years running. >>> Get involved: > Subscribe to our free Best of the Week e-newsletter. > Follow us on Twitter Fan us on Facebook. > Write: send article or query. > Advertise. > Pay for what you read, help indie journalism survive and thrive.


7 Responses to “Eco Fish + Sushi? There’s an App for that! ~ Elleni Cladis”

  1. […] a general trend right now.  If you want to enjoy oysters, or any other seafood for that matter, overfishing is the last thing that should be going […]

  2. […] eat your mercury-laden “healthy” fish if you want to, folks, and if you do use the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s free iPhone app or printable guide to what kinds of fish aren’t so overfished that, in eating said fish you won’t be […]

  3. […] damaging knowledge of eating fish that are globally being overfished at alarming rates (view full article); and the silly business of mindless oyster consumption (view full […]

  4. via

    An eco-friendly fish is the kind that is still alive and not removed from the environment.

    James Patock
    Patrick, agreed.
    Elleni, "less overfished"???? Really? Seriously?
    Shaking my head in disbelief.
    I'm with you. But that rational ain't gonna work on the 96% of us who eat meat. At least our fish-lovin-killin friends can make sure they're not supporting overfishing and farm fishing and fish that's shipped halfway across the world and back, frozen, far from fresh…

    Nancy LaNasa
    I live on the gulf coast; say goodbye to shrimp, crabs and oysters. For the next 20 years. Imagine how they feel…

    James Patock
    This logic is so flawed I don't know where to begin. The oceans are overfished. Living creatures are not "ours" to consume responsibly or irresponsibly.
    And the word is rationale. Rational is what this argument is not.

    Lisa Shapiro
    instead of "what's more sustainable, and less overfished? how about "what's MOST sustainable and Not overfished at all"! at least give people the option of not eating our fish friends at all. maybe most won't bite but we do a disservice to your readers if they are not given a true, sustainable option. thanks elephant for this ongoing conversation that you continue to step into(;

    Gary Smith
    The majority of the over fishing is due to the fish meal fed to cows, chickens and pigs for human consumption. If you really care about the oceans, stop eating animals. All of them.
    Lisa, I would hooope everyone already knows about that option, and that it's most eco when it comes to fish not to buy fish at all! I'm veggie, as you know, and stopped eating fish not only for eco or health (mercury) reasons but for the plain simple fact that I killing for pleasure ain't my idea of a good time.
    Sorry, James, I'm a big believer in taking one positive step forward, if that's more realistic for fish-eating-fans, than advocating something wonderful (vegetarianism) that most folks may not yet be interested in. Our readers, ultimately, will be guided by their own consciences and appetites.

  5. Via

    yaya RT @kaibaka: Thx elephant – just downloaded Moneterey Aquarium sustainable seafood app 4 next time we have sushi!

  6. laura says:

    Dear Elephant,

    Do you think constantly being on the internet, and i-phoning, and texting etc. is Eco, is good for the environment(bees and humans) Do you have an article about this?

  7. Stylee Stylee says:

    Thanks to ele for being the constant voice of eco-cop-out and half-assed compassion.
    Information helps people to understand choices and their impacts, giving them some green-washed half-truth serves only those who are attached to the status quo.
    The jet fuel and emissions to deliver sealife to Boulder for consumption alone renders it an eco-IRresponsible choice.