World Oceans Day serves as reminder that there aren't plenty of fish in the sea

Consumers around the globe are being reminded to eat sustainably on World Oceans Day and to understand the kind of impact eating foods like Toro sushi has on fragile marine ecosystems.

Increased consumption, wanton overfishing and pollution are wreaking havoc with the planet's oceans, said United Nations Secretary-general Ban Ki-moon. In a statement he called on societies to play their part in safeguarding the planet's resources and "greening our future," this year's theme.

"I urge governments and all sectors of society to embrace our individual and collective responsibility to protect the marine environment and manage its resources in a sustainable manner for present and future generations," he said in a release.

To help consumers wade through the kinds of fish that are acceptable to eat, The Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch program offers wallet-sized pocket guides that are available to download.

In addition to national and regional guides for the US, there is also a sushi guide that shows consumers Best Choices, Good Alternatives and sushi to avoid.

Some of the most sustainable choices, for example, include Ikura, or salmon roe, Sake or Alaskan wild salmon, and Shiro Maguro, as long as it's Albacore tuna from the US or British Columbia, Canada.

In the red list of seafoods to avoid are any sushi items made from Bluefin tuna - which is currently grossly overfished - such as Toro or Maguro, as well as farmed or Atlantic Sake salmon.

Their national seafood guide suggests sustainable choices like farmed mussels, black cod from Alaska or British Columbia, farmed rainbow trout, and US catfish.

Seafood to avoid, meanwhile, includes Chilean seabass, Atlantic and imported Pacific cod, red snapper, and monkfish.

Greenpeace also offers a helpful consumer's guide to sustainable seafood with its annual report Carting Away the Oceans. After evaluating major grocery retailers on everything from corporate policies, initiatives, transparency and red list sales, the group gave Safeway the highest mark, followed by Target, Wegmans, Whole Foods and Ahold in the US.

Meanwhile, filmmaker Mark Hall debuts his new documentary Sushi: The Global Catch at the Seattle International Film Festival Wednesday, a film that chronicles the worldwide phenomenon and popularity of sushi from Beijing, to Warsaw to Texas. The documentary also focuses on the environmental consequences of overfishing sushi-grade fish.

To download the pocket guides, visit http://www.montereybayaquarium.org/cr/cr_seafoodwatch/download.aspx and to learn more on how major retailers scored according to Greenpeace, visit http://www.greenpeace.org/usa/en/campaigns/oceans/seafood/.

 

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