Are You Going to Eat That?
Part B: Identifying Sustainable Seafood
- Read the Conservation Magazine article "Harnessing Consumer Power for Ocean Conservation".
Check your understanding of the different ways in which the sustainability of seafood is evaluated.
- What is the difference between Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) certification and seafood ranking systems? The difference between certifications and ranking systems is that consumers see the results of certifications as an on-pack label for only those products that have passed evaluation, whereas ranking systems arm consumers with the information they need to choose among an array of products in the marketplace.
- What is the difference between Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) certification and seafood ranking systems?
- Examine the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch guide provided by your teacher. If print copies are not available, visit the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch website to download and view a Seafood Watch guide for the region of the country where you live.
- Look at two additional seafood guides for fish available in your geographic area, published by different conservation groups. Use the links below to download and view guides online if print copies are not available from your teacher.
- Compare and contrast the species you found on each seafood guide. Do the same species appear on all three?
Stop and Think
1:Why might a restaurant or fish market sell certain fish under pseudonyms (false names)? Explain.
2:Why do you think the recommendation for a particular species might differ between guides?
- Read the guidelines (Acrobat (PDF) 237kB Jun28 07) used by the Seafood Watch Program to make seafood recommendations.
- The National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Fisheries Service maintains a website called Fish Watch that does not grade fish, but provides consumers with a variety of information on the species and fishing practices associated with it to help them make an informed decision. Go to the FishWatch website.
- Use the "about fishwatch" link at the top of the page to learn more about how to navigate the FishWatch page and how to interpret the information provided.
- The FishWatch site also has useful information regarding fisheries management, fishing gear types, fisheries management stakeholders, trade statistics, and seafood health.
- In a group, use the FishWatch site to research the fish species assigned by your teacher.
- Prepare a short presentation of the information you find about your assigned species. Include the following information in your presentation:
- species name plus any vernacular (common names);
- the species' role in the ecosystem;
- trends in biomass and landings;
- important dates relevant to the species' sustainability status; and
- the species' current sustainability status.
- As a class, rank the species of fish each group researched from most to least sustainable under current conditions.