Fish the right way

The world of seafood is much more complicated than it was when I pulled my first Jersey sunfish out of the lake I grew up on; shortsighted economic gain, a morass of bureaucracy, and a universe of misinformation complicate it. It’s clear that we have an insatiable appetite for far more than the oceans, rivers, and lakes can provide. But all is not hopeless. 

As a consumer, you can make a difference to positively affect the oceans, your local economy and your health. 

Becky’s good fish rules
Follow these simple guidelines:

There are five species of salmon, not just king and sockeye. Eat pink, keta and coho salmon. Little silver fish such as herring, sardines, mackerel, smelt and anchovies are delicious, nutritious, versatile and affordable. 

The local seafood industry is far more sustainable when compared to the places where the majority of our seafood is sourced (farmed shrimp from SE Asia, tilapia from China, imported farmed salmon, for example).

If you don’t live in a coastal community, finding fresh seafood can be challenging. Fresh seafood often needs to be put on a plane to make it to the market while it is still fresh, delivering with it a big carbon footprint and a ticking bomb as the fish gets older day by day. Frozen seafood can be shipped by boat, truck, or rail with much less impact on the environment. When correctly processed, frozen seafood cannot be discerned from fresh seafood once defrosted.  

Helping the oceans and leaving a clean and safe environment for the next generation is reason enough to source sustainable fish but if you need an extra push – it’s also good for you. 

Clams are high in vitamin B12 and iron. Oysters are also high in calcium and one oyster contains 370 milligrams of omega-3 fatty acids. Wild pink salmon is the most plentiful salmon species, it’s high in heart healthy omega-3 fatty acids, inexpensive and widely available canned or smoked or flash frozen online. 

Good Fish
by Becky Selengut, published by Sasquatch (£30.00)

Becky Selengut is a private chef, author, humorist and cooking teacher. Selengut lives in Seattle with her wife and their two dogs.