Is Your Seafood Sustainable?
That fish sandwich you’re eating: which waters did it come from? How was it caught? Was it farmed, or wild caught? Is it an overfished species?
Today, it’s easier than ever to make responsible choices about ordering sustainably harvested seafood, thanks to efforts by groups like the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch (seafoodwatch.org) in California and the Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation (GHOF) in South Florida. “Most people want to make decisions that are good for the environment” when they have information and suitable alternatives, says Greg Jacoski, GHOF director of operations. Their Sustainable Seafood Guide, available online and in a convenient pocket guide, lists dozens of popular seafood choices so people can easily determine which species are sustainable and OK to eat, and which are overfished and should be avoided. The Monterey Bay Aquarium’s free app, Seafood Watch, gives consumers the latest recommendations for sustainable seafood and sushi and business that serve them.
In South Florida, restaurateurs consider seafood that’s local, too. “Our commitment to finding new seafood options, particularly sustainable and local is an unending journey for Sushi Maki,” says Abe Ng, founder of the popular chain. “I think as more restaurants and seafood purveyors see the value in buying and supporting local, we will see more menu items reflecting the bounty of seafood that surrounds us here in South Florida.” Their new fall menu includes yellowtail snapper and Florida lobster supplied by local fishermen.
“Customers are now more aware about sustainable seafood,” says chef Kareem Anguin of the Oceanaire Seafood Room in Brickell, where serving seafood that’s sourced responsibly is part of his – and the restaurant chain’s – mission. “We bring in line-caught fish (vs. net-caught) – local stone crab, mahi mahi, grouper, snapper.” For non-local seafood, Anguin says they look for Alaska halibut during season, for example. “Our salmon comes from Alaska, not Atlantic or Chilean waters.”
* SUSTAINABLE SEAFOOD AT GRIDIRON GRILL-OFF *
See the Guy Harvey Sustainable Seafood Village at John Offerdahl’s Broward Health Gridiron Grill-Off Food and Wine Festival Nov. 14 at the Pompano Beach Amphitheater. The sixth annual culinary competition for charity pairs Miami Dolphins legends with top local chefs, including chef Anguin. For information and tickets, visit gridirongrilloff.com