10 Fish You Shouldn’t Be Eating and What to Try Instead

Sliced Japanese Amberjack, aka yellowtail.

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AVOID: JAPANESE YELLOWTAIL

Japanese farms put yellowtail, aka amberjack, in polluting net cages and use wild fish as feed.

Instead try: U.S. yellowtail snapper. It’s caught with eco-friendly hook-and-line gear in the South Atlantic.

These fish are endangered: if you love them, swap for these equally tasty alternatives. You’ll give your favorite fish a chance to rebuild its numbers in the wild.

Farms use antibiotics and other chemicals; harmful bottom trawling nabs wild shrimp.Instead try: U.S.-farmed shrimp. Thanks to strong environmental laws, homegrown shrimp cause less pollution.

AVOID: IMPORTED SHRIMP

Farms use antibiotics and other chemicals; harmful bottom trawling nabs wild shrimp.

Instead try: U.S.-farmed shrimp. Thanks to strong environmental laws, homegrown shrimp cause less pollution.

 

Raw chilean sea bass on a cutting board.

AVOID: CHILEAN SEA BASS

(aka Patagonian toothfish) It’s threatened by illegal fishing.

Instead try: Alaskan sablefish (aka black cod). It has a buttery texture akin to sea bass.

 

A monster of the sea, it has been overfished nearly to extinction.Instead try: Wahoo. A relative of tuna and mackerel, this game fish may grow fast enough to withstand fishing pressure. Eat sparingly due to mercury.

AVOID: ATLANTIC BLUEFIN TUNA

A monster of the sea, it has been overfished nearly to extinction.

Instead try: Wahoo. A relative of tuna and mackerel, this game fish may grow fast enough to withstand fishing pressure. Eat sparingly due to mercury.

 

Seared Albacore Tuna

AVOID: ALBACORE TUNA

(Sometimes called white tuna on cans) Most is caught with longlines, which can kill sea mammals.

Instead try: “Pole and troll” tuna. Look for these words, indicating friendlier fishing methods, on menus or can labels.

Endangered in the wild; most varieties are farmed, producing fish with many more contaminants.Instead try: Alaskan wild salmon. It is hailed as one of the world's best-managed fish.

AVOID: ATLANTIC SALMON

Endangered in the wild; most varieties are farmed, producing fish with many more contaminants.

Instead try: Alaskan wild salmon. It is hailed as one of the world’s best-managed fish.

 

This cod is overfished, and U.S. and Canadian fishermen catch it mainly by using destructive bottom trawling.Instead try: Pacific cod. It is caught in Alaskan waters using gear certified by the Marine Stewardship Council.

AVOID: ATLANTIC COD

This cod is overfished, and U.S. and Canadian fishermen catch it mainly by using destructive bottom trawling.

Instead try: Pacific cod. It is caught in Alaskan waters using gear certified by the Marine Stewardship Council.

 

eel sushi on wooden tray

AVOID: EEL

Sorry, sushi lovers: Most freshwater eel comes from farms that pollute and harm wild eels.

Instead try: American lobster. It’s a similarly rich treat, and there’s a glut, so prices are dropping.

 

Epinephelus morio (red grouper) fish

AVOID: RED GROUPER

Although populations are healthy in the Gulf of Mexico, they’re depleted in the Atlantic off the southern United States.

Instead try: U.S.-farmed barramundi. It’s raised in recirculating inland tanks, which prevents escape and pollution.

 

Closeup of an Orange roughy

AVOID: ORANGE ROUGHY

It’s caught by trawlers that destroy the ocean floor.To the left, U.S.-farmed tilapia

Instead try: U.S.-farmed tilapia. This fish is also raised in environmentally sound tanks. (Chinese tilapia is not; avoid it.)

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