The Fish ListNo-No Fish -- Why you shouldn’t eat these fish:
Beluga Sturgeon (Beluga caviar). Overfished and unmanaged.
Chilean Seabass (Patagonian Toothfish). Reaches sexual maturity very slowly; long-line fishing results in deaths of tens of thousands of albatrosses.
Clams, dredged. Harvest methods cause habitat destruction.
Groupers. Most species overfished; in many species, large adults are all males.
Lingcod. Okay if from Alaska; overfished off West Coast.
Orange Roughy (Slimehead). Overfished; reaches sexual maturity very slowly.
Oysters, dredged. Harvest methods cause habitat destruction.
Rockfish (Pacific Red Snapper, Rock Cod). Overfished; slow-growing.
Salmon, Atlantic. Wild stocks overfished; farmed escapees dilute gene pool; farms pollute oceans; wild fish populations depleted to feed farmed fish.
Scallops dredged. Harvest methods cause habitat destruction.
Sharks (shark cartilage, shark fin). Many species overfished; slow-growing; produce few young.
Shrimp and prawns, farmed. Farming destroys mangrove forests, pollutes the environment with antibiotics and waste, and wild fish populations depleted to feed farmed shrimp.
Shrimp and prawns, trawled. Trawling damages the seabed; massive bycatch.
Sturgeon, wild. Many species endangered by habitat loss and overfishing.
Swordfish, Atlantic. Severely overfished.
Swordfish, Pacific. Stocks heavily fished.
Tuna, Bluefin (Maguro). Overfished.
So-So Fish -- Why you should think twice before eating these fish:
Crab, Alaskan King. Managed, but becoming overfished.
Crab, Snow. Managed, but heavily fished.
Lobster, Northern (clawed, American, Maine). Managed, but heavily overfished.
Lobsters, spiny (langoustines, crayfish). Slow-growing; overfished almost everywhere except Cuba and Australia.
Snappers, tropical (huachinango). Most species overfished; larvae die in shrimp trawl nets.
Sole, Petrale, English, and Dover. Most soles and flatfishes are caught by trawl fishing, an ecologically destructive practice that often results in excessive bycatch.
Go-Go Fish -- Why these fish are okay to eat:
Anchovies. Fast-growing; abundant.
Bluefish, Atlantic. Fast-growing; abundant.
Catfish, farmed. Fast-growing; herbivorous; raised in ponds.
Cod, Pacific. Abundant; well-regulated fishery.
Crayfish (crawfish, crawdad). Appropriately farmed.
Crab, Dungeness. Well-regulated fishery.
Herrings & sardines. Abundant in certain seas.
Halibut, Pacific (Alaskan). Abundant; well-regulated fishery.
Mahi-mahi (Dorado, Dolphinfish). Fast-growing; mature rapidly.
Mussels, farmed. Can be farmed without major environmental impact.
Oysters, farmed. May help clean waters; those raised in nets don’t disturb seabed.
Pollock, Pacific (Surimi, Krab). Not overfished, but fishery competes with declining northern (Steller) sea lions.
Prawns, California Spotted. Captured by trapping; no bycatch.
Salmon, wild (Alaskan and Californian). Many stocks sensibly managed.
Scallops, farmed. Abundant.
Shrimp, Atlantic Northern Pink. Abundant; captured without environmental damage.
Squid (calamari). Abundant; most die after one year.
Striped Bass, farmed. Inland ponds have little environmental impact.
Sturgeon, farmed. Controlled inland rearing ponds with little environmental impact.
Tilapia, farmed. Fast-growing; eat plants, not other fish.
Trout, farmed. Raised in freshwater ponds with little environmental impact.
Tuna, Pacific Albacore (Tombo Tuna). Well-regulated fishery causes little or no bycatch.
Tuna, Yellowfin (Ahi). Abundant; fairly well-managed fishery; “dolphin safe” labeling and monitoring program reduces dolphin kills.
Information courtesy of Dr. John McCosker and the California Academy of Sciences.