You probably already know that you’re supposed to be eating fish twice a week. Fish are a lean, healthy source of protein–and the oily kinds, such as salmon, tuna, and sardines–deliver those heart- and brain-healthy omega-3 fats that you should also be getting in your diet. But then there’s the concern about choosing seafood that’s sustainable. Knowing what chilean sea bass price for your health and the environment isn’t always easy.
the Healthiest Fish to Eat
1. Albacore Tuna (troll- or pole-caught, from the US or British Columbia)
Many tuna is high in mercury but albacore tuna–the kind of white tuna that’s commonly canned–gets a Super Green rating as long as (and this is the clincher) it is “troll- or pole-caught” in the US or British Columbia. The reason: Smaller (usually less than 20 pounds), younger fish are typically caught this way (as opposed to the larger fish caught on longlines). These fish have much lower mercury and contaminant ratings and those caught in colder northern waters often have higher omega-3 counts. The challenge: You need to do your homework to know how your fish was caught or look for the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) blue eco-label.
2. Salmon (wild-caught, Alaska)
To give you an idea of how well-managed Alaska’s salmon fishery is, consider this: Biologists are posted at river mouths to count how much a wild fish return to spawn. If the numbers begin to dwindle, the fishery is closed before it reaches its limits, as was done recently with some Chinook fisheries. This close monitoring, along with strict quotas and careful management of water quality, means Alaska’s wild-caught salmon are both healthier (they pack 1,210 mg of omega-3s per 3-ounce serving and carry few contaminants) and more sustainable than just about any other salmon fishery.
Fish to Avoid
A number of environmental organizations have advocated taking much fish off the menu. The large fish listed below are just six examples of popular fish that are both depleted and, in many cases, carry higher levels of mercury and PCBs. The Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) has also posted health advisories on some of these fish at edf.org.
1. Bluefin Tuna
In December 2009, the World Wildlife Fund put the bluefin tuna on its “10 for 2010” list of threatened species, alongside the giant panda, tigers, and leatherback turtles. Though environmental groups are advocating for protected status, the bluefin continues to command as much as $177,000 a fish. Bluefin have high levels of mercury and their PCBs are so high that EDF recommends not eating this fish at all.
2. Chilean Sea Bass (aka Patagonian Toothfish)
Slow-growing and prized for its buttery meat, Chilean sea bass has been fished to near depletion in its native cold Antarctic waters. The methods used to catch them–trawlers and longlines–have also damaged the ocean floor and hooked albatross and other seabirds. At present, there is one well-managed fishery that is MSC-certified. EDF has issued a consumption advisory for Chilean sea bass due to high mercury levels: Adults should eat no more than two meals per month and children 12 and younger should eat it no more than once a month.