All of the recipes on this page are prepared with sustainable fish and shellfish. Who knew helping to improve the health of our ocean was so tasty?
There are more than seven billion people in the world, and about one billion eat seafood every day. Seafood is anything we eat that lives in rivers, lakes, or the ocean. This means fish (like salmon or tuna) and shellfish (like shrimp and clams) are both considered seafood.
That’s a lot of people eating a lot of fish! But the ocean doesn’t have as much seafood as it once did. In fact, more than half of the world’s fisheries are currently overfished. This means people are taking too many fish. This is not healthy for the environment.
Overfishing is a big problem, but you can help protect and preserve the ocean. When you go to the grocery store, ask your parents to choose sustainably caught or harvested seafood. Sustainable seafood means people have caught the fish or shellfish in a way that doesn’t hurt the environment or the animal population.
Look at the labels on the seafood in your supermarket. Note where your fish comes from and if it is “wild caught” or “farm-raised.” Some fish are most sustainable when caught in the wild, and others are healthier when farm-raised (farms are not just for plants!). Visit National Geographic's seafood decision guide for help choosing the healthiest, most sustainable option.
For more information on seafood that is good for you and for the ocean, visit Kidsafe Seafood's website.
- Check for fish advisories in your state before purchasing seafood. Local water quality can affect the health of fish in your neighborhood grocery store or fish market.
- Just as fruits and vegetables have seasons, so does wild-caught seafood. Seasonality is determined by many factors, like spawning cycles for fish, and molting patterns for crustaceans. Eating seasonally is important not only because seafood tastes better "in season," but also because it helps preserve marine populations.
- Salmon is caught and harvested in many places around the world, and your grocery store probably offers more than one option. Avoid salmon farmed in the Atlantic, where densley packed fish pens pollute surrounding waters and fish are often injected with antibiotics. Instead, look for wild-caught salmon from Alaska.
- People like to munch on many different types of crab. The species used in these recipes is Dungeness and is caught in traps along the west coast of North America. Dungeness is a great choice not only for its sweet and tender flesh but also because it is sustainably harvested.
- Tilapia can be an ocean-friendly choice, but choose wisely. Tilapia farmed in the United States is a sustainable option. Avoid tilapia farmed in China or Taiwan. It is the least ocean-friendly of all the tilapia harvests.
- Almost 90% of the shrimp eaten in the U.S., both wild-caught and farm-raised, is imported from unsustainable fisheries. Wild shrimp are caught with trawlers, huge nets that drag along the ocean floor and catch not only shrimp, but also many different species that are then thrown away. Some shrimp farms produce pollution that can destroy local environments. Choose domestic shrimp that are harvested in more sustainable ways.