In an age of over-fishing and crashing marine stocks, it’s difficult to keep track of which fish are ethically kosher for consumption. Here is the latest consensus and data from the Marine Conservation Society, Greenpeace and the SeaFood Watch on which fish we can still sustainably eat, and which ones we should avoid. The chart below is based on acceptable fisheries, ecological integrity, and industry practices.
That being said, allow me a quick aside to you half-vegetarians out there:
It is not OK to eat fish and continue to call yourself a vegetarian. Fish are animals, and just because they aren’t fluffy or cute like cows, pigs, or chickens, doesn’t make them plants.
Well then, perhaps your tastes are a bit more eclectic than just game fish. Which exotic fish (or mollusks or cephalopods) are safe from over-consumption, and which should you spare from your ravenous hunger for aquatic organisms? The chart below somewhat overlaps the Green Peace data, but goes as far as telling you if eel is ecologically good to be eating.
You will thank me later when you go to a restaurant and pedantically tell you friends that the eel they just ordered is endangering the species. You’ll look so knowledgeable!