Pacific Swell | Southern California environment news and trends

Seafood Watch turns 10

Most likely you've seen the cards: ubiquitous at Whole Foods; sometimes tucked into your check at a restaurant. Ten years ago, the Monterey Bay Aquarium started Seafood Watch program to tell people in simple and consistent terms which fish need conserving most.

This morning the Monterey Bay Aquarium's releasing a report describing the "State of Seafood" - uh, what do you think? - fisheries are mismanaged and aquaculture's booming.

They're also making a new list of fish that are good for people to eat, and good for the oceans - by which they mean, doesn't harm the oceans.

Fish on the green part of the list have low levels of contaminants, like PCBs and mercury, and have a lot of Omega-3 fatty acids, AND make the Seafood Watch "best choice" list. Farmed trout, farmed mussels and oysters, wild-caught Oregon pink shrimp, mmmm Sardines!, wild Alaska salmon, Albacore Tuna that's pole or troll-caught (no, not caught by the troll under the bridge; trolling is a fishing method that's less destructive to the ocean than longlining, which you may remember from "The Perfect Storm" or any number of reality shows that use dramatic music, jump cuts, and fancy editing to up the EXCITEMENT quotient for fishing).

So, you know, maybe some of our local catch - I'm looking at you, Palos Verdes Shelf - doesn't make the list.

I'm headed to the California Science center to hear more about this; I'll have more information this afternoon.