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Greening Princeton
Promoting Environmental Sustainability at Princeton University
Sustainable Seafood

The oceans are not infinite. Recent scientific evidence shows that 90% of the oceans' large, top predatory fish are gone. Fisheries worldwide are threatened by overfishing, habitat-damaging fishing gear, accidental catch of unwanted (and sometimes endangered) species, and unsustainable farming practices.  For example, wild-caught shrimp fisheries throw away 2-10 pounds of unwanted ocean life per pound of shrimp caught, and farmed shrimp and salmon require around three pounds of wild-caught fish to feed one pound of farmed fish as well as cause pollution and habitat destruction in coastal areas.  

However, many fisheries engage in sustainable harvesting or farming practices.  Sustainable seafood is better for marine environments, helps protect continued jobs for fishermen, and is often healthier. Consumers can make a difference by only purchasing sustainable seafood, as Princeton Dining Services does.  In fact, Princeton is the first university to become a Seafood Watch Partner with the Monterey Bay Aquarium!  

You too can make a commitment to sustainable seafood, whether you are an individual or an institution.  To find out how, see below for two sets of resources on sustainable seafood:

  1. A list of guides, including wallet-sized cards, to purchasing sustainable seafood
  2. Resources for institutions interested in serving sustainable seafood

Consumer guides to sustainable seafood
FishList The Fish List has a general guide that includes environmental and health concerns.  
ED Environmental Defense has a general guide that includes environmental and health concerns, plus a separate guide to toxin (e.g., mercury) levels in seafood.  
MBA Monterey Bay Aquarium has guides for multiple regions (National, West Coast, Northeast, Southeast, Midwest, Hawaii, in Spanish).
ALO Audubon's Living Oceans has a general guide.
BOI Blue Ocean Institute has a general guide that includes short explanations.  
WCS Wildlife Conservation Society has a guide for the East Coast.  
MCS Marine Conservation Society has a guide for the UK.
MSC Marine Stewardship Council certifies sustainable fisheries.

Sustainable seafood resources for institutions
MBA Monterey Bay Aquarium has a Seafood Watch Partnership program where institutions (restaurants, seafood suppliers, aquariums, zoos, etc.) that commit to serving and educating customers about sustainable seafood receive information on sustainable seafood, training opportunities, recognition and other benefits.  
EcoFish EcoFish sells sustainable seafood to restaurants and retailers.
SCA Seafood Choices Alliance has a database of sustainable seafood suppliers.

The non-profits (e.g., Environmental Defense) who publish the consumer guides listed above are also great resources for institutions.