Among the most treasured aspects of Virginia Beach's coastal
locale are our amazing dining options. Fresh catch abounds here,
with healthy seafood always on the menu. But eating for your health
is just the beginning-the health of our oceans also depends on your
eco-friendly seafood choices. Beyond our shores, fishing practices
worldwide are damaging our oceans, depleting fish populations and
destroying habitats. You can help by choosing eco-friendly
The Sensible Seafood program, developed by the Virginia Aquarium
& Marine Science Center in partnership with the Monterey Bay
Aquarium's Seafood Watch program and regional seafood experts,
helps you turn the tide by making sustainable seafood choices that
promote a healthy marine environment.
Some seafood choices are over-fished or are caught or farmed in
ways that harm other marine life or the environment. Sustainable,
eco-friendly seafood comes from fisheries and farms that have
healthy populations and are harvested in an environmentally
friendly way and can continue to produce into the future without
negative impact on their populations or natural ecosystems.
At the table and the market, we can be good stewards of the
environment by making the right choices. Consult this list of
choices to help save our oceans and sea life. Fish and shellfish on
the green list are harvested or grown in an environmentally
friendly manner. Yellow indicates there may be some issues
regarding a species, such as accidental catch of turtles or other
marine animals. And the red items are best avoided - at least for
the time being. Keep in mind that seafood may occur in more than
one column based on how it is caught, where it is from, etc. Be
sure to read all columns and check labels and ask questions when
shopping or eating out.
The Virginia Beach Restaurant Association endorses the program,
and participating restaurants carry the Sensible Seafood symbol on
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Abundant, well-managed and fished or farmed in environmentally
Barramundi (US farmed)
Catfish (US farmed)
Clams, Mussels, Oysters (farmed)
Cod: Pacific (Alaska longline)
Crab: Dungeness Stone
Crayfish (US farmed)
Lobster: Spiny (US)
Mackerel: King*, Spanish*
Mahi Mahi (US Atlantic troll/pole)
Pollock (Alaska wild)
Salmon (Alaska wild)
Scallops: Bay (farmed)
Striped Bass (farmed or wild*)
Sturgeon, Caviar (farmed)
Tilapia (US farmed)
Trout: Rainbow (farmed)
Tuna: Albacore (BC, US troll/pole)
Tuna: Skipjack (troll/pole)
*May need to limit consumption due to health concerns.www.epa.gov/waterscience/fish/advisories/2006/index.htmlwww.oceansalive.org/eat.cfm
Despite some concerns with how they are caught or farmed, or
with the health of their habitat due to other human impacts, these
are options to consider when Best Choices are unavailable.
Black Sea Bass
Clams, Oysters* (wild)
Cod: Pacific (trawled)
Crab: Blue*, King (Alaska), Snow
Mahi mahi/Dolphinfish (US)
Shrimp (US farmed or wild)
Snapper: Gray, Lane, Mutton*, Yellowtail (US)
Swordfish* (US longline)
Tilapia (C. America, S. America farmed)
Tuna: Bigeye, Yellowfin (troll/pole)
Tuna: canned light, canned white/Albacore*
At least for now, these choices are overfished or caught or
farmed in ways that harm other marine life or the environment.
Crab: King (imported)
Flounder, Sole (Atlantic)
Lobster: Spiny (Caribbean imported)
Mahi mahi/Dolphinfish (imported)
Salmon (farmed, including Atlantic)*
Shrimp (imported farmed or wild)
Snapper: Red*, Vermilion (US)
Sturgeon*, Caviar (imported wild)
Tuna: Albacore, Bigeye, Yellowfin (longline)*
Buying locally caught seafood that is harvested responsibly both helps support the local economy and ensures that you eat the freshest seafood. Regionally caught species such as croaker, striped bass (also called rockfish), wild-caught shrimp, in-season blue crab and hard clams are Virginia’s best seafood choices.
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