Tuna and Sustainable Seafood

So just like that were at the end of it all (well almost). This week was a complete blur of data reconfiguration, R script, poster formatting, and presentation rehearsal. This was actually the very first scientific poster I ever had to make and present so the week was a bit stressful haha. I was really happy with the result however; I think it was a success! Getting to hear about everyone’s research in detail was also a really interesting experience. It’s hard not to get caught up in only your own research this summer so it was incredibly refreshing to see everyone else’s results.

In the celebratory spirit, we all went over to the Great Albacore Tune BBQ Challenge by the NOAA docks today. For just $12 each we got to try bottomless albacore recipes including pulled tuna, tuna gazpacho, and tuna teriyaki with pineapple. Best money I’ve spent in a very long time; absolutely delicious! As I’m writing this blog a thought occurred to me: is albacore tuna sustainably harvested in the North Pacific? To try and relieve the guilt I suddenly felt about having a belly full of delicious fish I turned to one of my favorite websites: seafoodwatch.org. Seafood Watch is a program run by the Monterey Bay Aquarium. In the site’s own words: “Our recommendations help you choose seafood that’s fished or farmed in ways that have less impact on the environment.” It allows visitors to the site to lookup seafood items (e.g. albacore tuna) based on where you bought it (e.g. North Pacific, domestic) and the site gives the source a rating based on sustainability. In the North Pacific luckily, Albacore tuna populations are being sustainably fished. Phew. Besides just making us feel guilty about our food choices, the website also provides ‘good alternatives’ to users. For example, my favorite seafood is scallops. When I search for this item I got three results, two east coast sources and one from Alaska. Those from the east coast are marked as ‘good alternatives’ but the most sustainable option is to but those from Alaska which was dubbed the ‘best choice.’ If you haven’t ever been to seafoodwatch.org I highly recommend you take a peak next time you’re setting a menu!

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2 thoughts on “Tuna and Sustainable Seafood

  1. It would be cool if the albacore challenge had some info about the sustainability of the fishery, alongside the delicious fish itself!

  2. Thanks for promoting that website – it is a great resource! Also, that certainly sounds like money well spent for bottomless tuna.

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