EWG, Monterey Bay offer new online seafood guide

The nonprofit Environmental Working Group (EWG) and the Monterey Bay Aquarium have introduced a new online tool that allows consumers to make healthy seafood choices that are good for the environment.

The online calculator and shopping tool combines data and guidelines from the U.S. Food and Drug Adminstration (FDA) and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) with rankings from Monterey Bay’s Seafood Watch program, which ranks various species of seafood based on how sustainably they are caught.

“It’s easy to be overwhelmed by all of the information available about seafood,” said Jennifer Dianto Kemmerly, director of the aquarium’s Seafood Watch program. “This new tool from the Environmental Working Group cuts through the confusion and makes it much easier to choose the seafood that’s best for people, and best for the health of the oceans.”

The tool bases seafood recommendations on the consumer’s age, weight, heart health and whether or not the consumer is pregnant. The EWG collected data on mercury content of commercial seafood gathered by Stony Brook University and the Environmental Defense Fund. The EWG said in a statement that it believes the data is current, and will be updated as the science changes over time.

“Over the past decade, the evidence has grown that seafood is an important part of a healthy diet, particularly for pregnant women and people with heart disease,” said Sonya Lunder, EWG’s senior analyst and program leader in creating the new seafood calculator. “The key is to select the healthiest fish and shellfish. We’ve identified those species with the highest omega-3 concentrations and low mercury. The addition of Seafood Watch sustainability ratings allows us to also highlight seafood choices that come from well managed fisheries.”


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