What Fish is Safe to Eat? – 2012 Summer Guide


Often times people think they are doing better for their health by eating fish.  Yet we see more and more lab testing in fish and people showing high quantities of toxic metals and other substances including prescription drugs.

If you are a Pescatorian or a regular fish eater, know your fish and which ones you should and should not eat.  Below is a fantastic chart offered by Sea Food Watch it’s the most current information available.

Use this guide to find ocean-friendly alternatives to seafood on the Seafood Watch “Avoid” list.  You can also get this list on your cell phone with recommendations on safe fish to eat.  Click here for more information on this free app.
For more information, and to learn more about species that do not appear on this list, visit www.seafoodwatch.org.
Use this guide to find ocean-friendly alternatives to seafood on the Seafood Watch “Avoid” list.

PDFDownload a printable version of the Culinary Chart of Alternatives

Avoid Best Choices Good Alternatives
Caviar and Sturgeon* (Imported Wild-caught)Caviar, Paddlefish (Wild-caught from U.S.) Caviar (U.S. Farmed)Sturgeon (U.S. Farmed)

Sturgeon: White (Wild-caught from OR and WA)

Chilean Seabass/Patagonian Toothfish* Cobia (U.S. Farmed)Sablefish/Black Cod/Butterfish (AK, Canadian Pacific) Sablefish/Black Cod/Butterfish (CA, OR, WA)
Cod: Atlantic (Trawl-caught from Canadian and U.S. Atlantic)Cod: Pacific (Imported)


Cod: Pacific (U.S. Bottom Longline, Jig and Trap)Cod: Atlantic (Hook-and-Line from Iceland and Northeast Arctic)

Haddock (U.S. Atlantic Hook-and-Line)

Cod: Atlantic (Bottom Gillnet, Bottom Longline, Bottom Trawl and Danish Seine from Iceland and Northeast Arctic)Cod: Atlantic (U.S. Gulf of Maine Hook-and-Line)

Cod: Pacific (U.S. Trawl)

Haddock (Iceland Atlantic and U.S. Atlantic Trawl)

Crab: King (Imported)
Crab: Dungeness; Kona (Australia); Stone Crab: Blue* (U.S.); Jonah; King (U.S.), Kona (HI); Snow (AK, Canada)
Crawfish/Crayfish (Imported Farmed)
Crawfish/Crayfish (U.S. Farmed)Prawn: Spot (Canadian Pacific) Prawn: Spot (Canadian Pacific)
Flounders or Soles (Atlantic Wild-caught, Except Summer Flounder)
Halibut: Pacific (U.S.) Flounder, Sanddab, Sole (Wild-caught from U.S. Pacific)Flounder: Summer (Wild-caught from U.S. Atlantic)*

Turbot, Greenland*

Groupers (U.S. Atlantic*)Grouper: Gag; Snowy; Warsaw; Yellowedge (U.S. Gulf of Mexico)* Mahi Mahi (Troll/Pole from the U.S. Atlantic)Striped Bass (Farmed or Wild-caught*) Black Sea BassBrouper (Hawaii)

Grouper Black and Red (U.S. Gulf of Mexico)*

Mahi Mahi (Imported Troll/Pole and U.S.)

Hake: White
Tilapia (U.S. Farmed) Hake: Offshore, Red and SilverTilapia (Farmed in Brazil, Costa Rica, Ecuador and Honduras)
Halibut: Atlantic or California* (Set Gillnet)
Cobia (U.S. Farmed)Halibut: Pacific (U.S.)

Tilapia (U.S. Farmed)

Flounder, Sanddab, Sole (Wild-caught from U.S. Pacific)Summer Flounder (Wild-caught from U.S. Atlantic)

Turbot, Greenland*

Lobster: Caribbean Spiny (Brazil)
Lobster: California Spiny (CA)Lobster: Caribbean Spiny (FL)

Lobster: Spiny (Baja California, Mexico)

Lobster: American/Maine (Trap-caught)Lobster: Caribbean Spiny (Bahamas)
Mahi Mahi (Imported Longline)
Mahi Mahi (Troll/Pole from the U.S. Atlantic) Mahi Mahi (Imported Troll/Pole and U.S.)
Marlin: Blue* or Striped* (Imported)
Swordfish (Harpoon and Handline-caught from Canada, the U.S., North Atlantic and East Pacific)* Marlin: Blue (HI)*Swordfish (Drift Gillnet from CA)*

Swordfish (Longline from HI and U.S. Atlantic)*

Monkfish
Mahi Mahi (Troll/Pole from the U.S. Atlantic)Sablefish/Black Cod/Butterfish (AK, Canadian Pacific) Mahi Mahi (Imported Troll/Pole and U.S.)Sablefish/Black Cod/Butterfish (CA, OR, WA)
Orange Roughy*
Halibut: Pacific (U.S.)Tilapia (U.S. Farmed) Flounder, Sanddab, Sole (Wild-caught from U.S. Pacific)Summer Flounder (Wild-caught from U.S. Atlantic)*

Turbot, Greenland*

Rockfish: Pacific (Trawl)
Halibut: Pacific (U.S.)Rockfish: Black (U.S. Hook-and-Line)

Sablefish/Black Cod/Butterfish (AK, Canadian Pacific)

Striped Bass (U.S. Farmed or Wild-caught*)

Flounder, Sanddab, Sole (Wild-caught from U.S. Pacific)Rockfish (Hook-and-Line or Jig from the Pacific)

Sablefish/Black Cod/Butterfish (CA, OR, WA)

Salmon (Farmed, including Atlantic)*
Arctic Char (Farmed in Recirculating Systems)Salmon (AK Drift Gillnet, Purse Seine and Troll)

Salmon, Freshwater Coho (U.S. Farmed in Tank Systems)

Salmon (Drift Gillnet, Purse Seine and Troll from CA, OR, WA)Salmon, Coho (Canadian Pacific, Wild-caught)
Sharks* (Except Common Thresher and Shortfin Mako from California and Hawaii) and Spiny Dogfish* (Canadian Atlantic and U.S.)
Cobia (U.S. Farmed)Halibut: Pacific (U.S.) Dogfish: Spiny (British Columbia)*Sharks: Common Thresher and Shortfin Mako (Wild-caught from California and Hawaii)

Sturgeon (U.S. Farmed)

Sturgeon: White (Wild-caught from OR and WA)

Shrimp (Imported Except Canadian Wild-Caught and Thailand from Fully Recirculating Farms)
Prawn: Spot (Canadian Pacific)Shrimp (U.S. Farmed in Fully Recirculating Systems or Inland Ponds)

Shrimp: Pink (OR)

Prawn: Spot (U.S. Pacific)Shrimp (Wild-caught from Canada and U.S.)

Shrimp (U.S. Farmed in Open Systems)

Shrimp (Thailand from Fully Recirculating Farms)

Snapper: Red or Vermilion (U.S.)
Tilapia (U.S. Farmed) Snapper: Gray; Lane*; Mutton*; Yellowtail (Wild-caught from U.S. Atlantic and U.S. Gulf of Mexico)Snapper: Gray; Pink; Ruby (Wild-caught from HI)

Snapper, Silk (Wild-caught from U.S. Caribbean, U.S. Gulf of Mexico and U.S. South Atlantic)

Tilapia (Farmed in Brazil, Costa Rica, Ecuador and Honduras)

Swordfish (Imported)*
Mahi Mahi (Troll/Pole from the U.S. Atlantic)Swordfish (Harpoon or Handline from Canada, U.S., North Atlantic and East Pacific)* Mahi Mahi (Imported Troll/Pole and U.S.)Swordfish (Drift Gillnet from CA)*

Swordfish (Longline from HI and U.S. Atlantic)*

Tilapia (Farmed from China and Taiwan)
Tilapia (U.S. Farmed) Tilapia (Farmed in Brazil, Costa Rica, Ecuador and Honduras)
Tilefish: Blueline and Golden (U.S. Gulf of Mexico and U.S. South Atlantic)*
Mahi Mahi (Troll/Pole from the U.S. Atlantic)Striped Bass (U.S. Farmed or Wild-caught*) Mahi Mahi (Imported Troll/Pole and U.S.)Tilefish, Golden (U.S. Mid-Atlantic)*
Tuna: Canned (All Except Troll/Pole)
Tuna: “White” Canned Albacore (Troll/Pole from the Canadian and U.S. Pacific)Tuna: “Light” Canned Skipjack (Troll/Pole) Tuna: “White” Canned Albacore (Troll/Pole Except Canadian and U.S. Pacific)
Tuna: Albacore (North Atlantic and All Longline Except HI)*Tuna: Bigeye (All Longline Except U.S. Atlantic)*

Tuna: Blackfin (All Longline and Purse Seine)*

Tuna: Bluefin (Wild or Ranched)*

Tuna: Skipjack (Purse Seine and All Imported Longline)

Tuna: Tongol (All Gillnet and Purse Seine Except Malaysia)

Tuna: Yellowfin (All Purse Seine and Longline Except HI and U.S. Atlantic)*

Tuna: Albacore (Troll/Pole from the Canadian and U.S. Pacific)Tuna: Bigeye (Troll/Pole from the U.S. Atlantic)

Tuna: Skipjack (Troll/Pole)

Tuna: Yellowfin (Troll/Pole from the Pacific and U.S. Atlantic)

Tuna: Albacore (HI Longline and South Atlantic Troll/Pole)*Tuna, Bigeye (Troll/Pole and U.S. Atlantic Longline)

Tuna: Blackfin (Troll/Pole)*

Tuna: Skipjack (Longline from HI and the U.S. Atlantic)

Tuna, Tongol (Troll/Pole or from Malaysia)

Tuna, Yellowfin (Troll/Pole Except Pacific and U.S. Atlantic)

Tuna, Yellowfin (Longline from HI and the U.S. Atlantic)

* Consumption advisory due to mercury or other contaminants. For more information, visit www.edf.org/seafoodhealth

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