Dr. Bruce Monger, Professor of Oceanography, Cornell University, NY

“Supporting Ocean Friendly Seafood”

 This handy guide will help you to make conscious, healthy choices regarding seafood. Our fisheries are in jeopardy; many species are either endangered and/or polluted.

Best Choices: are abundant, well-managed, and caught or farmed in environmentally friendly ways.

Good Alternatives are an option, but there are concerns with how they’re caught or farmed – or with the health of their habitat due to other human impacts.

Avoid for now as these items are caught or farmed in ways that harm other marine life or the environment. 

Key: Mid-Atlantic = NC to NY; Southeast =Texas to SC

* Limit consumption due to concerns about mercury or other contaminants

** Some or all of this fishery is certified as sustainable to the Marine Stewardship Council standard. 


BEST CHOICES                                                                          GOOD ALTERNATIVES

  • Arctic Char (farmed)                                                             Basa (farmed) (catfish family)
  • Barramundi (US farmed)                                                       Black Sea Bass
  • Catfish (US farmed)                                                              Bluefish*
  • Clams, Mussels, Oysters (farmed)                                          Clams: Atlantic Surf, Hard, Ocean,
  • Clams: Softshell/Steamers (wild)                                           Quahog (wild)
  • Crab: Dungeress                                                                   Crab: Blue * , Jonah, King (US), Snow
  • Croaker: Atlantic *                                                                Haddock (Hook & Line)
  • Halibut (Pacific) **                                                                Hake: Silver, Red and Offshore
  • Lobster: Spiny (US)                                                               Herring: Atlantic/Sardines
  • Pollock (Alaskawild)*                                                             Lobster: American/Maine
  • Salmon (Alaskawild)*                                                            Mahi mahi/Dolphinfish (US)
  • Scallops: Bay (farmed)                                                          Oysters (wild) *
  • Squid: Longfin (US)                                                               Scallops: Sea
  • Striped Bass (farmed or wild*)                                               Scup/Porgy
  • Sturgeon, caviar (farmed)                                                     Shrimp: Northern
  • Swordfish (Canada, USharpoon, handline)*                             Shrimp (US farmed or wild)
  • Tilapia (US farmed)                                                               Squid
  • Trout: (Rainbow, farmed)                                                      Swordfish (USlongline) *
  • Tuna: Albacore (US*,British Columbia)                                   Tilefish (Mid-Atlantic)
  • (troll/pole)                                                                           Tuna: Bigeye, Yellowfin (troll/pole)
  • Tuna: Skipjack (troll/pole)                                                     Tuna: canned light, canned white/Albacore  


  • Chilean Seabass/Toothfish * Sharks * and Skates
  • Cod: Atlantic Shrimp (imported, farmed or wild)
  • Crab: King (imported) Snapper: Red
  • Dogfish (Atlantic) * Sturgeon *, Caviar (imported wild)
  • Flounders, Soles (Atlantic) Swordfish (imported) *
  • Haddock (trawled) Tilefish (Southeast) *
  • Hake: White Tuna: Albacore, Bigeye, Yellowfin (longline) *
  • Halibut: Atlantic Tuna: Bluefin *
  • Mahi mahi/Dolphinfish (imported)
  • Marline: Blue *, Striped *
  • Monkfish
  • Orange Roughy *
  • Salmon (farmed, iincludingAtlantic) *