Choose Ocean Friendly, Sustainable Seafood (Sashimi and Sushi) with Sea Choice’s Mobile App

Posted by on Oct 5, 2011

Speaking of being ocean friendly, every choice we make counts. By avoiding unsustainable fish and seafood, we directly decrease the market demand. If we all chip in some effort and make small sacrifices, it IS possible to snuff out depletion caused by over-fishing, bycatch deaths, ocean bottom damage from trawls, and more.

Nigiri Sea Choice Ocean friendly sustainable seafood, sashimi, sushi by Melody Gourmet Fury

Tasty tasty murder... why must you be so delicious?

The key word here is choice. I’m a sucker for sushi and sashimi so cutting that from my diet is not an option. I can, however choose ocean friendly varieties.

I don’t know about you but I can’t recite specie origin and fishing method by memory.  And Googling every menu item before ordering will undoubtedly annoy your dining company. I recently discovered a simple solution.

Salmon tataki Sea Choice Ocean friendly sustainable seafood, sashimi, sushi by Melody Gourmet Fury

Am I safe to eat?

Sea Choice has created a smart, visual guide to help us determine the best seafood choices. They categorize farmed and wild species that we commonly find on menus and in stores by how sustainable they are. The best part is they’ve developed a mobile app to remove the “I didn’t know” excuses when we’re picking our nigiri.

Geoduck Sea Urchin Sea Choice Ocean friendly sustainable seafood, sashimi, sushi by Melody Gourmet Fury

Geoduck (mirugai) and Canadian Sea Urchin (uni) are ocean friendly. Avoid the spiky guys from California and Maine though.

3 things I love about this app:

  • It searches sushi names and market names.
  • A specie’s ocean friendliness can vary, depending on how it’s caught and the country of origin. This app clarifies what to look for.
  • The visual colour legend makes it easy to read:  best choice (green), some concerns (yellow), and avoid (red).

Screenshot of the Seachoice iPhone app

I took a quick glance through and was relieved that some of my favourite seafood are “green”.  I realize that menus often do not specify the source of their product.  As a rule of thumb, if the restaurant is unable to tell me where a certain variety comes from, I’ll choose something else. (Omakase, or entrusting your meal in the chef’s hands, can be an exception.)

Go download the app now and feast on some guilt-free sushi.

Salmon Aburi Sushi Sea Choice Ocean friendly sustainable seafood, sashimi, sushi by Melody Gourmet Fury

Not all salmon are equal. Wild Pacific salmon is your best bet.

Saba Mackerel Sea Choice Ocean friendly sustainable seafood, sashimi, sushi by Melody Gourmet Fury

Oily Mackerel (Saba) is hard to pass up. Just avoid the ones caught in mid-water trawls from the U.S. Atlantic.

Snapper tataki Sea Choice Ocean friendly sustainable seafood, sashimi, sushi by Melody Gourmet Fury

I didn't realize snapper comes in so many forms that range in ocean friendliness.

Is this something that you would use? What other resources helps you make ocean friendly choices? Or do you not really give a crap about sustainable eating?

 

About Sea Choice (from their website)

SeaChoice: Healthy Choices, Healthy Oceans

SeaChoice, Canada’s most comprehensive sustainable seafood program, is about solutions for healthy oceans. Five internationally respected Canadian conservation organizations—Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society, the David Suzuki Foundation, Ecology Action Center, Living Oceans Society and Sierra Club British Columbia—formed SeaChoice to help Canadians take an active role in supporting sustainable fisheries and aquaculture at all levels of the seafood supply chain.

Working in collaboration with the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s acclaimed Seafood Watch program, SeaChoice undertakes science-based seafood assessments, provides informative resources for consumers, and supports businesses through collaborative partnerships.

Our work is funded by the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, the Webster Foundation, and the Eden Foundation.

 

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  • http://twitter.com/freshfooddiva Fresh Food Diva

    That is great info, Melody.  I’ve been cutting down on my seafood consumption significantly because of the impact on our environment.  So when I do indulge, I want to support businesses who make the right choices.

  • Cassandra Anderton

    Thanks Melody.  It is really surprising how many types of sushi are far from sustainable.  What’s worse is there are certain sushi restaurants that are promoting their fish as sustainable, when they are clearly not.  More on this soon as it unfolds.

  • http://www.gourmetfury.com/ Melody Fury

    Definitely, Cass. Even Ocean Wise doesn’t require every menu item to be sustainable so the diners really need to take ownership in their decisions. xo