Health News: What Fish is Safe to Eat? – Updates


About two months ago I posted an article entitled What Fish is Safe to Eat?.

It’s an extremely informative article that lists all the types of fish and what is safe vs not safe to eat.  You can read it by clicking above. Today I wanted to share some updated information provided by

Updated Seafood Watch Recommendations

Effective July 2010

New Recommendations

Squid, Market (wild-caught, from California) Good Alternative

Squid play an important role in marine food webs as predator and prey, and are an important food source for marine mammals. It is also becoming a staple on many restaurant menus, where it’s called calamari. While squid grow quickly and reproduce at a young age, their survival depends on ocean temperature and prey availability. This means squid abundance varies widely, or may be unknown in many areas.

Market squid, California’s most valuable fishery, is primarily caught with purse seines. Normally

purse seines cause limited habitat damage, but in the market squid fishery they often make contact with and damage the seafloor. Bycatch is another concern with this fishery as the squids’ own egg cases are caught in the nets.

For all these reasons, California market squid is considered a “Good Alternative.”

Recommendation Changes

Salmon (wild-caught, from California) Avoid

Salmon (wild-caught, from south of Cape Falcon, Oregon) Avoid

Salmon (wild-caught, from north of Cape Falcon, Oregon) Good Alternative

Salmon populations in California, Oregon and Washington have declined dramatically as a result of habitat loss, climatic shifts, historic overfishing and other factors. Salmon are born in freshwater then migrate to the ocean where they grow and mature before being caught. When freshwater rivers and streams are damaged or destroyed through dam construction, water diversions, deforestation and urban development, salmon populations are impacted.

In California, Oregon and Washington, nearly 30 populations of salmon and steelhead are on the

Endangered Species List. These endangered fish are unintentionally caught by fishermen who are targeting other salmon species. Fisheries management has not prevented the long-term decline of

many species of salmon in California, Oregon and Washington.

Seafood Watch recommends that consumers “Avoid” wild-caught salmon from California and

Oregon, south of Cape Falcon. This recommendation is based on the Sacramento River fall Chinook stock, which represents the vast majority of the fish in California’s commercial landings and a large percentage of Oregon’s. Recent history shows ever-declining Sacramento River Chinook.

In contrast, salmon caught in the ocean fisheries north of Cape Falcon, Oregon, including the

Columbia River in-river fisheries, are considered a “Good Alternative.” Most of the salmon caught north of Cape Falcon, Oregon, are from the Columbia River. These fisheries have generally met management goals in recent years and the fish stock is considered moderately healthy.

Tuna, Canned (except troll/pole) Avoid

Tuna, Canned Light Skipjack (troll/pole) Best Choice

Tuna, Canned White/Albacore (troll/pole from U.S. and British Columbia) Best Choice

Tuna, Canned White/Albacore (troll/pole except U.S. and British Columbia) Good Alternative

Tuna are fast-growing fish that reproduce at an early age and produce plentiful offspring – traits that can help them withstand high levels of fishing. However, as one of the top three seafoods in the

U.S., tuna is in very high demand and many populations are in decline.

Tuna fisheries use a number of different gears and the amount of bycatch varies widely between

different gear types. Troll or pole-and-line gear catches little to no bycatch while longline and purse seine fisheries are associated with potentially large quantities of bycatch – including threatened or endangered species such as sea turtles, sharks and seabirds.

Consumers should “Avoid” all canned tuna not labeled as troll or pole-caught. Like other premium products, if the label doesn’t say troll or pole-caught then it’s safe to assume an environmentally

damaging gear was used.

Seafood Watch has three recommendations for troll/pole canned tuna. Two for albacore/white tuna based, on where the fish is caught, and one for skipjack. Since canned light tuna can contain a number of tuna species, be sure to look for canned skipjack. Ask for these products where you shop.

New Consumption Alerts

Contaminant warnings were added for several species:

California Halibut

Lane Snapper

Salmon (wild-caught from Oregon)

Yellow Perch



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s