Consumer Guides to Sustainable Sushi

Sushi made with wild-caught salmon is considered a sustainable choice.

Environmentally conscious consumers can now relax about eating sushi. As long as they consult one of three new guides from leading ocean conservation groups ranking popular sushi selections, that is. Later this month, Blue Ocean Institute, Environmental Defense Fund and the Monterey Bay Aquarium will each release their own user-friendly color-coded versions of the guide—in print, online and in mobile device versions—based on a shared set of information about the toxicity levels of various types of popular sushi fish.

While each of the groups offer slightly different spins in their respective versions of the guides, they all advise against ordering sushi made from bluefin tuna, freshwaster eel or farmed salmon. These species are either overfished, farmed with aquaculture methods that pollute the ocean, or are harvested in such a way as to cause the destruction of ocean habitats or kill large numbers of other marine species.

Meanwhile, sushi made from wild-caught Alaska salmon, farmed scallops and Pacific halibut are considered more sustainable choices by the groups, as each comes from abundant, well-managed fisheries or, in the case of scallops, are raised using sustainable aquaculture methods.

"For the first time, sushi lovers have tools that enable them to join the growing movement of those making ocean-friendly choices that protect life in the seas now and for generations to come," Blue Ocean Institute executive director Julie Pareles told reporters in announcing the publication of the new guides.

Source: Blue Ocean Institute