How to Make Sustainable Seafood Choices at the Fish Market

By Carl Safina, "Sea Change," March/April 2010

The seafood we eat has an enormous impact on our health today and the health of our oceans tomorrow.

"Thanks for a great article. Sure hope lots and lots of people read it. I've been eating sardines all my life (am now 74) and doctors are always amazed at how good my good cholesterol is. I tell them it's all the sardines I've eaten -...

Catch of the Day

By the time I reach the diving birds, the sonar shows dots representing schools of fish near the bottom in 50 feet of water. Patricia and I have two fishing rods, each rigged with a row of six tiny lures the length of my thumbnail. Here in the same ocean where I’ve decked big tuna and battled bruising sharks and fought 40-pound striped bass, this is decidedly—and deliciously—small game fishing.

Our sinkers mail the rigs to the bottom. I feel a bump and my rod tip dips, dips more, then more. Pat’s already reeling up. And we’ve struck silver, all right. Into view come the wiggling, shimmering shapes we’re looking for. I lift six herring, each about 10 inches long, over the side and into the cooler. Patricia has four herring and two mackerel about the same size. At this rate, it doesn’t take long to get about five dozen before we hang up our rigs and head for the dock.

We’ll smoke some of these, cook some up fresh, and fillet and pickle most of them. They’ll show up on our dinner table and as snacks and in gift jars. For weeks they’ll give us good food and a good story.

Marine biologist Carl Safina is the founder of the Blue Ocean Institute, author of Song for the Blue Ocean, and winner of the Pew Fellowship in Marine Conservation Award, the MacArthur Fellowship and the Lannan Literary Award. He won a 2011 James Beard Award for this story published in EatingWell Magazine.

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