Our Dumbo location’s Butcher and Seafood sourcer, Greg gave us his opinion about how to eat seafood in a more sustainable way…
One of the easiest ways to eat fish sustainably (and I’ll get into those less-easy ways in the future) is to eat fish you haven’t heard of before. It’s not a perfect system, but it’s a good rule of thumb. There a lot of species of fish in the sea, and a LOT of them can be eaten. And most restaurants and fish counters only carry the same dozen or so varieties, few of which are caught locally, and thusly, have probably been out of the water for way longer than you’d care to imagine.
True overfishing, i.e. fisherman fishing too much of one kind of fish, and irresponsible farming typically only occur with species that have really high customer demand. Salmon is a good example, as are bluefin tuna, cod (although there are definitely some well-maintained cod fisheries), and shrimp.
Each of these species of fish are connected with either harmful fishing or farming practices, and the sole reason for that is that the consumer base (i.e. you) is comfortable ordering these types of fishes to the exclusion of the hundreds of other options out there. Any fish place worth its sea salt will be able to recommend you a less recognizable, but equally delicious and similar alternative to the “big name” species.
Salmon is easily replaced with bluefish, Spanish mackerel, or any other dark, oily fish.
Tuna, use bonito or albacore or swordfish.
Cod (if it’s not local) you’re spoiled for choice; try hake or pollock or ling or dogfish or etc. etc. etc.
Shrimp is a little harder, but occasionally dropping it as an option frees you up to try something wholly new and different.Go for surf clam fillets, or skate cheeks and wings, or sea robin, or tautog.
Again, there are so many species of edible fish, and they usually all take to similar types of cooking. When you stick to the same three or four varieties, you’re really depriving yourself of delicious, healthy, and sustainable meals.