Tuna, swimming – thanks to Flickr user Canales

Seafood is such an important part of a nutritionally sound diet that it cannot be overstated. Countless studies and articles on this site attest to that fact, almost daily. There is, however, grave concerns over mercury bioaccumulation pollution in big fish in tuna and shark, PCB contamination in farmed salmon and generally just worry about overfishing to world fisheries.


The Monterey Bay Aquarium steps into this murky world with answers. Their Seafood Watch Guide is the gold standard if you want to know which species are free from contaminants and overfishing worries.

But recently the aquarium went above and beyond the ‘green’ rating they give good species, creating a super green list of the best seafood options. Below are their findings:

Note: Both charts can be re-categorized by clicking on the column headings

Seafood Watch List, Super Green List (as of October 2009)

Fish Growing Method Source
Albacore Tuna Troll or Pole-caught US or British Columbia
Mussels Farmed Anywhere
Oysters Farmed Anywhere
Pacific Sardines Wild-caught Pacific Waters
Pink Shrimp Wild-caught Oregon
Rainbow Trout Farmed US, likely
Salmon (any variety) Wild-Caught Alaskan
Spot Prawns Wild-caught British Columbia

Seafood Watch List, Other Best Choices (as of October 2009)

Fish Growing Method Source
Arctic Char Farmed Anywhere
Bay Scallops Farmed Anywhere
Crayfish Farmed USA
Dungeness Crab Wild-caught NW USA – Washington, California, Oregon
Longfin Squid Wild-caught USA Atlantic Waters
Pacific Cod Longline-caught Alaska

Additional Resources:

-Download printable pocket guides (all .pdf) for each US region: HawaiiWest CoastSWCentralSE & the NE
-Download Seafood Watch for your iPhone, free app (iTunes store direct link)



Version 1.0 of this chart was released on 2009-11-17. All revisions will be noted here.