16 Popular Seafood Choices You Should Avoid Eating

Posted by on May 17, 2015 in Food, Drink & Nutrition, Health with 0 Comments

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By Cole Mellino | Truth Theory

Most commercial fisheries are in decline. Scientists and economists are concerned that commercial seafood harvesting may end within three decades. If the long-term trends continue, they predict there will be little or no seafood available for a sustainable harvest by 2048.

Luckily, there are organizations working hard to change that. The Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch program has been providing consumers with information on “ocean-friendly choices” for 15 years through its printable guides, website and recently revamped mobile app.

The app is a user-friendly guide for choosing the most environmentally responsible seafood to eat. It tells you best options, good alternatives and ones you should avoid.

Here are 16 popular seafood options that you should avoid eating, according to Seafood Watch:

Caviar: “Avoid” caviar from all wild-caught sturgeon and paddlefish. Instead, opt for caviar and fish that’s been farmed in the U.S. or Canada as a “best choice.”


Cod: Atlantic cod from the Gulf of Maine and the Georges Bank is generally considered an “avoid.” The exception to this is, the “good alternative” handline fishery on Georges Bank, which is more selective and does not catch any other depleted stocks. All Pacific cod from Japan and Russia is on the “avoid” list because so little is known about the health of cod populations in the Japanese and the Russian Pacific.

Eel: Freshwater eel is most commonly sold as “unagi” and served in sushi. Worldwide, farmed freshwater eel is on the “avoid” list. Young eels are farm-raised after being captured from the wild. This practice adds pressure to wild populations already in decline. In addition, there’s concern about habitat loss and damage, and the amount of wild-caught fish required to feed farm-raised eels.

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Halibut: Most Atlantic halibut is overfished, so it’s on the “avoid” list. The exception is farmed Atlantic halibut. It’s a “good alternative” because it’s raised in closed tank systems that have little impact on local habitats.

Lobster: American (Maine) lobster from the Gulf of Maine and Georges Bank is a “good alternative,” but “avoid” lobster from southern New England. Avoid spiny lobsters from Belize, Brazil, Honduras and Nicaragua, which have poor management, declining populations of lobsters and high levels of illegal fishing.

Mahi Mahi: Generally, mahi caught by international longline fleets is on the “avoid” list. The exception is Ecuador, where improved longline methods reduce accidental catch so mahi is a “good alternative.”

Related Article: Ecologist Group Says Salt-Water Fish May Be Extinct in Just Over 30 Years

Marlin: All striped marlin and most blue marlin are on the “avoid” list. The exception is blue marlin that’s caught in Hawaii. There’s minimal bycatch in this fishery, so it’s a “good alternative.”

Octopus: Octopuses from Mauritania, Morocco, and the Philippines are all on the “avoid” list due to heavy fishing pressure, habitat damage and a lack of fishery management. Octopuses from Spain and Portugal caught with trawl are also an “avoid.” Trap-caught octopuses from Spain, Hawaii and the Gulf of California are “good alternatives.”

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