It's gotten rather confusing for those of us trying to keep up with which fish we should and should not eat for health and political reasons. We try to keep up with all the seafood watch sites, and read the latest news, but when it comes down to it, often the fish we think is okay to eat, isn't on the fishmonger's blackboard.
Here at The Kitchen, we're going to start trying to synthesize the information that's out there on fish for you, with a very simple explanation of those fish that you can cook without a ton of guilt. And we'll do it on Fridays.
This week, we begin with Striped Bass.
Here's what the various seafood rating websites have to say about it:
From the Monterey Bay Aquarium's Seafood Watch Program: "Atlantic striped bass are at record levels as a result of effective fishery management and strong conservation actions, making it a best choice for consumers."
From Environmental Defense's Oceans Alive Guide: "Even though striped bass are both farmed and wild-caught in an environmentally sustainable manner, Environmental Defense recommends that you eat only farmed striped bass because of high levels of contaminants in wild striped bass."
From Blue Ocean Institute's Guide to Ocean-Friendly Seafood: "Striped bass populations reached severe lows in the 1980s, but strong management has helped them rebound. Striped bass fisheries utilize a range of gears, many of which have minimal impacts on habitat such as hook and line gear and midwater gillnets. There is work underway to assess bycatch."
• One Fish, Two Fish, Crawfish, Bluefish: The Smithsonian Sustainable Seafood Cookbook (Smithsonian Books) by Carole C. Baldwin
• Ocean Friendly Cuisine: Sustainable Seafood Recipes from the World's Finest Chefs (Willow Creek Press) by James Fraioli