Aquarium gives Hawaii, Calif. fisheries thumbs-up


Steven Hedlund

Published on
January 16, 2012

The Monterey Bay Aquarium’s (MBA) Seafood Watch program has updated its influential seafood-buying guide, and a number of fisheries from Hawaii and California are now receiving a thumbs-up.

The guide, which is updated about every six months, groups seafood species into three color-coded categories — best choices (green), good alternatives (yellow) and avoid (red) — according to whether they’re harvested or farmed in a sustainable, environmentally friendly manner.

This time around, the MBA upgraded eight species from “avoid” to “good alterative” — Hawaiian pink snapper, Hawaiian ruby snapper/longtail snapper, Hawaiian red snapper/squirrelfish snapper, Hawaiian grouper, California- and Hawaii-caught common thresher shark and shortfin mako shark, Florida pompano and Lake Huron lake trout. Also, Lake Huron and Lake Superior whitefish was upgraded from “good alternative” to “best choice.”

The MBA also added five species to its guide: Octopus from the Philippines was rated as “avoid;” Alaska Dungeness crab; California yellowtail; and spotted seatrout from Mississippi, North Carolina and Virginia were categorized as “good alternative;” and spotted seatrout from Louisiana and Florida was rated as “best choice.”

More than 35 million pocket-sized guides have been distributed nationwide since the program’s inception in 1999, and the program’s iPhone application has been downloaded nearly 500,000 times since its debut three years ago.

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