The health benefits and culinary delights of eating fish are many. But is it safe? Have water pollution and over-crowded farm-fishing compromised all fish equally? And what about the problems of "by-catch", when other creatures such as dolphins, non-target fish and birds get caught and killed along with the rest of the catch?
Here's a resource that aims to help the consumer make informed choices about what to buy and eat. Oceans Alive has created a list of Best and Worst Seafood Choices to consider, in terms of environmental and health impact. The "fish to avoid" list bears careful study. For example, wild striped bass is considered more risky from contaminants than farmed striped bass. (In fact, farmed striped bass may actually be a hybrid fish.) In addition, recommendations may vary depending upon the age and gender of the person eating the fish, since young children or pregnant women are more vulnerable to the long term effects of contaminants in the fish. And while one fish may rate as "healthier" than another, it may rate poorly in terms of environmental impact of the way it is caught. As always, there are many facets to consider before you head to the fish monger. I wonder what kind of striped bass I just cooked? Wild or farmed? Next time I'll know what to ask before I buy.
While you are there, you can download a Pocket Seafood Selector to take with you, and read about healthful fish oil supplements. If nothing else, following the recommendations to choose from a variety of fish should be an enriching experience.