You’re a Seattleite. You love fish. Grilled, filleted, sautéed, baked, smoked, poached, raw—you want it always, and in all ways. You got it bad.
So does everyone else. Overfishing has led to pollution, habitat destruction, and the depletion of various oceanic species across the globe, and in our little Pacific Northwest corner we’re in the thick of it.
So we asked Becky Selengut, chef and founder of Cornucopia, to give us three types of fish that people commonly buy, but really shouldn’t. We also asked her which sea creatures they should eat instead.
Monkfish In order to catch this bottom-dwelling species, fishing boats drag nets along the seafloor (a method known as bottom-trawling), resulting in large bycatch (unlucky ocean inhabitants that happen to be in the wrong place at the wrong time) and the destruction of ocean bottom habitats.
BUY INSTEAD Alaskan halibut
Bluefin Tuna This species has elevated levels of mercury and PCBs, it is being caught faster than it can reproduce, and the methods used to catch it result in large bycatch (including, but not limited to, sea turtles, sharks, and sea birds)—it’s a triple threat.
BUY INSTEAD Local Albacore Tuna
Farmed Salmon Growing one pound of farmed Salmon requires the consumption of three pounds of wild fish. Yeah, it’s unsustainable.
BUY INSTEAD Wild Salmon (especially keta, pinks, and coho/silver)
Where should you buy these feel good fishies? Selengut suggests:
Loki Fish Co. – buy fresh salmon right off the Knutson family’s boat at the Fishermen’s Terminal, or at the West Seattle Farmer’s Market. For more locations check out lokifish.com
PCC Natural Markets – support a local market that provides fresh fish from local suppliers. PCC is also the first official retail partner of the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch
Farmers Markets – Seattle is rich in them. Find one near you.
WANT TO EAT RIGHT AT THE SUSHI BAR? GET RECS FROM EXPERT CASSON TRENOR.