Get to know your seafood

In our last blog we talked about palm oil and making a wild New Year’s resolution by becoming an informed consumer. At the El Paso Zoo our orangutans are our ambassadors for awareness about the palm oil crisis. On the other side of the Zoo our California sea lions are ambassadors for the Sea Food Watch program.

Today one of the most most serious threats to our oceans is overfishing. When too many fish are taken out of the ocean it creates an imbalance that can erode the food web and lead to a loss of other important marine life, including vulnerable species like sea turtles and corals. Can we make a difference? The answer is yes. Consumers can make informed choices so that we don’t contribute to the loss of marine life by making sure that we only buy fish from the grocery store and restaurants that is sustainable.

The process is pretty simple. When you order fish from the menu or buy fish to prepare at home ask the question “is this sustainable?” If the answer is yes or no, or I don’t know, you can find out yourself by downloading the free downloadable Sea Food Watch Consumer Guide. A good example of how you can make informed decisions with the guide it to look up best choices for shrimp. The guide recommends US farmed shrimp or wild-caught shrimp from Canada and the U.S or shrimp farmed from Ecuador, Honduras, and Thailand over shrimp from other countries. A good example of shrimp to avoid is shrimp from Mexico where there is a US ban on Mexican fish and shrimp caught with gillnets in the northernmost part of Mexico’s Sea of Cortez. The ban was implemented by the U.S. Court of International Trade to protect the Vaquita, a small, endangered porpoise found only in that area.

Certified Sea Food

Atlantic Cod

Sea Food to Avoid

Amberjack by FWC Fish and Research Institute, Wikimedia Creative Commons

Striped bass by Naotake Murayama, Wikimedia Creative Commons

cover – Thank You (23 Millions+) Wikimedia Creative Commons

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