Photo: Eating sustainable seafood just got easier

Download Suzuki's Top 10 Sustainable Seafood Picks for your fridge!

By Lana Gunnlaugson, Senior Marine & Freshwater Conservation Coordinator

Okay, even I admit it. Using the SeaChoice seafood guide doesn't always make shopping for seafood easy. It's a handy tool with a lot of helpful information, but at times there are almost too many details to consider. And even when you know what type of seafood you are looking for, it's often difficult to find seafood labels or staff knowledgeable enough to help answer all of your questions.

Take tuna for example. It's listed under red, yellow and green. I always get asked, "How can tuna be one of the best and worst choices on the guide?" It all comes down to three key questions: What species it is, and both how and where it was caught or harvested. Depending on these answers, you can make a better decision for our oceans with albacore tuna, or a devastating choice with the endangered bluefin tuna.

So if you are a seafood lover like me, and you want an easy way to enjoy seafood from time to time without destroying our oceans, I encourage you to check out Suzuki's Top Ten Sustainable Seafood Picks. In a way, it's like a seafood guide for dummies. David Suzuki loves his fish and this list helps take out some of the confusion for Canadians by giving helpful hints and tips on the easiest way to make the right seafood choices. And don't worry, we tried to choose popular options that Canadians not only love, but that are also available in most regions of Canada.

Print off a copy for your fridge and the next time you feel like having seafood for dinner, use your consumer power and make a better choice for both you and our oceans. And if you are looking for inspiration for dinner, check out our website for more details on these fish including recipes from some of Canada's top chefs.

Lana is the senior program coordinator for the marine and freshwater conservation team at the David Suzuki Foundation.

January 19, 2011

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Jan 19, 2011
12:27 PM

Hello, I would suggest you make also the top 10 list of the fishes that are threatened and that we should avoid such as Red Tuna or Tiger prawn (did I read it from one our your newspaper arcticle?) and the way to be able to spot species that are sold fraudulously under an other name. You could also include more eastern species that are more easily found in eastern Canada. Thanks anyway and keep working hard for us that can’t or are too lazy to care as much as you do.

Jan 19, 2011
12:35 PM

An other question : what are actually eating those farmed salmon ? Cereal meal? Whatever you can find to feed them? I bet you they are not as healty as the wild one who eat naturally and contain more omega 3 fats (ADH). The same way, we need once and for all stop fattening tuna in bassins just by greed and caring only to make more money. What kind of food is that? I think farmed fish is fishy and I try to avoid it. Instead, we need to do everything we can to improve spawning of the wild species and make sure our grandchildrens and the fishermen can enjoy it for the next 7 generations. Thank you for your hard work.

Jan 23, 2011
12:23 PM

We would like to register our concern with your inclusion of “oysters farmed anywhere worldwide in a suspended culture system” on your Top 10 Sustainable Seafood Picks. Cultured oysters from Baynes Sound, British Columbia, and several other B.C. locations have consistently tested with high levels of cadmium.

Dr. Leah Bendell, Simon Fraser biologist and ecotoxicologist, has found that cadmium concentrations in oysters along coastal B.C. can be two to ten times higher than elsewhere in the world. There is extensive international research showing that even low levels of cadmium stored in the human body can precipitate diseases such as various cancers, kidney problems, bone loss and diabetes. (See research references in link below).

We hope that you will review this body of research and revise your list to exclude oysters and scallops from areas in B.C. where high concentrations of cadmium are found.

Jan 24, 2011
12:10 PM

Dear People of the David Suzuki Foundation, Although I do want nuclear reactors eliminated as a source of our energy, I am afraid the already huge piles of nuclear waste will killl us even if we closed all nuclear power plants today. I strongly suggest that we reduce this hazzard the only certain way possible and that is to build new reactors that use only nuclear waste for fuel and run them until all the current nuclear waste has been reduced in them from nuclear waste with a half life of 10,000 years to nuclear waste with a half life of about three hundred years at most. Such reactors are called “fast” reactors because the free nutrons are left to fly faster and more frequently into the fissionable nuclei in the fuel with the benificial result that the nuclei of uranium and plutonium, the nuclei with the 10,000 year half life are broken down into such things as strontium 90 which have a half life of about three hundred years only. These reactors are also known as liquid metal cooled reactors since the cores are so hot they need to be cooled initially by substances such as lead or sodium metal that do not boil at the unusually high temperatures of the core. The other advantage of these reactors is that by using them we would recover almost all the heat energy left in the current piles of nuclear waste and all the world’s uranium could be closed down forever while the current huge piles of nuclear waste were ‘burnt’ down from a poison now dangerous to life for the next 100,000 years to one that would cease to be dangerous in about 1000 years instead. Human control over massive piles of extremely poisonous waste is impossible over the next 100,000 years but we have chance to avoid that impending doom if we ‘burn’ up that poison now over the next 50 to 100 years. The poison is with us. Locking it safely away for long enough is only possilbe if we first ‘burn’ it down into a poison that remains a poison for a period of time (1000 years) that people have historically already shown we can maintain a global institution (eg.for lack of a better example, the Catholic Church). Nuclear power is a dirty word but leaving current piles of nuclear waste locked away are the sticks and stones that will kill us. Let us eliminate this real threat even if we are called names while we do it by those whose understanding of physics keeps them blind to how to effectively deal with nuclear waste. Politicians don’t have the courage stand for the truth in the face of name calling unless scientific organizations such as yours first turn the tide of public opinion by educating people of the true danger we face from storage of nuclear waste and how to realistically deal with it now. I look forward to your relpy. Robert North 613-549-8566

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