When it comes to shopping for fish at the grocery store, there's a lot more to think about than just what kind of fillet you want to have for dinner. Another major catch that a lot of people might not consider: Was this fish sustainably caught?
Over-fishing is a serious issue within the seafood industry and can often result in the depletion of marine reserves around the world. This is why it's super important to do your homework and commit to exclusively buying fish from stores (and restaurants) that use their purchasing power for good.
If you don't even know where to begin when sorting all of this information out, the Seafood Watch list is a great place to start. It's basically like a fish report card, which helps you to easily identify which varieties are definite no-nos. You can also search for recommendations and find out which businesses you visit have committed to being Seafood Watch partners.
We decided to do some of the legwork for you when it comes to the grocery store of choice for many of our readers: Trader Joe's. While Trader Joe's surprisingly hasn't always had the best track record when it comes to sustainably sourced fish, they have expressed that they are working towards the goal of offering better options for customers!
On a recent trip to Trader Joe's, we found the following options in the freezer section:
- Farm-raised tilapia fillets (imported from Indonesia)
- Wild Alaskan sockeye salmon fillets
- Wild-caught dover sole fillets (product of the USA)
- Norwegian cod (Atlantic wild-caught)
- Swordfish steaks (wild-caught product of Singapore)
The Best Frozen Fish You Can Buy at Trader Joe's
After assessing the options available in the frozen section and consulting the expertise of The Environmental Defense Fund, we determined that the best, most sustainable frozen fish to buy are the wild Alaskan sockeye salmon fillets.
"Wild salmon from Alaska come from a well-managed fishery and are low in contaminants. There are five species of wild salmon from Alaska: chinook, chum, coho, pink, and sockeye. All come from well-managed fisheries and are low in contaminants," the EDF says.
Winner, winner, salmon dinner!