Buying seafood is a bit of a head scratcher. You want it from a good fresh and reliable source where it’s low in mercury, and high in omega 3 fatty acids. You'll want to make sure your organic salmon and scallops were sustainably caught.

Like you would be concerned if your vegetables were farmed locally and grown organically, or if your pork was raised naturally, it’s important to know where you seafood came from and how it reached your plate.

Here’s a guide to choosing sustainable seafood, that’s good for you and the planet.

Sustainable Seafood Buying Guide:

When we buy sustainable seafood, it goes beyond quality, it has the ocean in mind. When you buy sustainable seafood, know that this choice creates a positive impact by:

  • Leaving enough fish in the ocean

Sustainably caught seafood means that the seafood you’re buying isn’t endangered or overfished. While seafood is in high demand all around the world, when fishing, enough fish must be left behind in the ocean in order to repopulate accordingly and to maintain their role in the oceans ecosystem. Overfishing can lead to depletion of marine species and not leaving enough fish for future catches.

  • Respecting the oceans habitats:

Notorious fishing methods such as dynamite fishing, cyanide fishing, and bottom line trawling physically damage and poison the oceans delicate ecosystem in order to get the days catch. Sustainable seafood means that the methods used to catch the fish and other seafood does not involve damaging or polluting the ocean. Sustainably caught seafood means that the ocean is protected for the oceans sake and for future fishing.

  • Fair trade:

Sustainably caught seafood does not just concern the ocean and the seafood, but the fishermen who fish them and the communities that live within the area. Sustainably caught seafood means that fishermen are paid fair wages, and that the community living in harmony with the oceans ecosystem are not exploited.

  • Traceable

When looking for the most sustainable seafood choices, choose seafood that’s traceable so you know where it comes from. Traceable seafood means you can know the course of your fish, from ocean to plate. Traceable seafood is also trustworthy, using DNA testing to prove that your seafood is correctly labeled.

  • Look for third party certifying bodies

Fortunately, there are many people out there who work hard to protect our oceans while finding socially responsible ways to getting beloved seafood on our plates. Look for any of the following logos, and know that the seafood you’re buying is nutritious, safe, and sustainable.

                1. Aquaculture Stewardship Council 

An independent non-profit organization that manages the world’s leading certification and labeling program for responsible aquaculture. ASC certified companies supply seafood while preserving the natural environment and biodiversity.

                 2. Scientific Certification Systems 

A global trusted leader in third-party environmental sustainability, and food quality certification, auditing, testing and standards development. Services range from certifying sustainable businesses in forestry, green building, agriculture, and fisheries.

3. Marine Stewardship Council 

An international non-profit, eco-labelling organization that recognizes and rewards efforts to protect the ocean and safeguard seafood supplies. MSC certified companies supply seafood that’s wild, traceable and sustainable.

With your health and the health of the planet in mind, choosing sustainable seafood is the clear choice, ensuring that you can enjoy safe and nutritious seafood for many generations to come. Sustainably sourced and organic salmon, pollock, hake, scallops and clams are available at select Healthy Options stores.