Fish is generally a healthy food choice. High in protein and low in fat, fish and other seafood can be nutrient-rich alternatives to fattier types of meat. But not all fish belongs on your dinner table. Some fish should be avoided due to questionable fishing practices and lack of sustainability. Others should be bypassed due to the presence of mercury or other harmful chemicals. Read on for tips gleaned from the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch, and visit their website to find a guide specific to the area you live in. Also, the following list includes fish that are not safe for consumption due to contamination.
These farmed, freshwater fish are also known as basa, tra, swai, or striped catfish. They are farmed in overcrowded ponds in Vietnam. Pangasius may turn up on your restaurant menu labeled as another fish altogether. The Monterey Bay Aquarium has placed this fish on its list of fish to avoid due to farming practices that pollute local waterways. Additionally, the sludge from these fisheries contains antibiotic residues that have led to the development of drug-resistant bacteria. Finally, these fish can contain heavy metals, antibiotic residues, and drug-resistant bacteria microbes.
14. Certain Types of Cod
For a safe, environmentally friendly piece of cod, seek out Pacific cod caught in Alaska. Avoid Pacific cod from Japan and Russia. Fisheries in Japan and Russia use fishing methods that can entangle or ensnare other forms of marine animals, including seabirds and mammals. Avoid most Atlantic cod, as these species have been overfished. The Monterey Bay Aquarium recommends only purchasing cod that has been fished using handlines, farmed in recirculating tanks, or certified by the Marine Stewardship Council.