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Sustainable fish, or not?

(article, Culinate staff)

Earlier this month, a group op-ed in Nature criticized the Marine Stewardship Council, a well-known sustainable-fisheries certifier, for not being stringent enough in its certifications and for obstructing challenges to its certifications. The authors — six marine scientists — also called for changes in the types of fisheries the MSC certifies, including fishing techniques. 

In response, the MSC stated that any fishery can lose its sustainability certification, and that certified fisheries are carefully reviewed. As for the op-ed's demand that the MSC be more critical of destructive fishing methods or wasteful fishery products, the council was terse: "The MSC program does not prescribe gear types or specify the final use of the fishery products."

Looking for other ways to pick sustainable seafood? The Monterey Bay Aquarium's well-known Seafood Watch program breaks down fish by type for consumers. The aquarium also lists other sustainable-seafood organizations, including EcoFish, FishChoice, and FishWise.