Sustainable Fish in LA

fisssssh.jpgI just came off the tail end of writing a story for Whole Life Times, one on the topic of sustainable fish. It’s a slippery subject (har har har). But I was able to find a few restaurants in LA where you can order pretty much anything off the menu without having a fish-induced eco-anxiety attack (click here for the list).

LA has a lot to contend with on the sustainability issue, primarily because our very favorite, most popular dishes here are all from species that have been fished to the brink of classifying the fish an endangered species: ahi, toro, salmon (the entire West Coast salmon season has been canceled due to extremely low numbers of the fish (aka biomass) in the seas), scallops, shrimp (tip: say no to Southeast Asian shrimp, and Mexican shrimp are ok–the predominance of Mexican shrimp farms are sustainable) and rock shrimp. Yeah. It sucks. But consider it an opportunity to expand your palate for sushi. Also, this web site is pretty much the final word these days on sustainability; and here is a downloadable pocket guide.

The magazine is free and is usually at health food stores & stuff, but it’s also online here. I have to give mad props to Patrick Glennon of Santa Monica Seafood. If you EVER, ever have any questions about sustainability issues, he’s your expert. As he says, “When you’re sitting at a cafe here, on PCH, overlooking the ocean…almost all of the fish on your menu are actually from the other side of the world.” Patrick is really the main reason I’m blogging this, because his passion for eco-conscious ocean stewardship is infectious, and it now informs all the choices I make when ordering seafood. I really want to spread the word about what he has to say.

6 Replies to “Sustainable Fish in LA”

  1. Interesting article and great sources.

    As I learn about areas of over fishing of a particular species, shark, red snapper come to mind I’ve shifted to other fish that can be farm raised with little difference in taste. I think the latter is more in my head but at least I can eat, enjoy and not add to the problem.

  2. The fishermen should switch to fishing king crab from Russia and Norway, where it’s considered a non-indigenous destructive pest.

  3. You can check out the book Bottomfeeder by Taras Grescoe for more info about sustainable seafood eating. It did, tragically, change the way I looked at shrimp, however.

    Here’s a salon article with an interview with the author

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