Documented effects of radiation spillage from the Fukushima nuclear power plant is increasing. Much of this radiation spills into the Pacific Ocean. Some sources encourage the public to avoid fish sourced from the Pacific Ocean entirely, but no official warnings have been issued as of January 2014.
Mollusks—oysters, clams, mussels—are very susceptible to water pollution because they filter water through their systems. Run-off from farms and sewage pollution in the water can make shellfish crops inedible.
The Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch program helps consumers and businesses make choices for healthy oceans with recommendations on seafood items. Seafood Watch labeling can help you decide which products are a “Best Choice,” a “Good Alternative,” and which to “Avoid”.
Bioaccumulation of toxins increases over time and is more concentrated in carnivorous fish, so to reduce your consumption of toxins when eating fish it helps to avoid the longest-living carnivorous fish. Ex. wild salmon, tuna, swordfish, and shark (howbout we just don’t eat shark? For so many reasons!)
Wild fish have been shown by some studies to have higher protein content and less fat than farmed fish.
There aren’t any Fair Trade fish available yet, but rumors have it that a Fair Trade certification for the fishing and shrimping industry is on the way. This will help support the artisanal fishing and shrimping communities who are currently adversely affected.
The shrimp industry is very harmful to the environment. It is chemical intensive, killing any other living things in the area, including living things on the shoreline. Some consumers choose to avoid shrimp all together, however, by choosing shrimp labeled by sustainability councils like MSC or Seafood Watch you will be making a more conscientious decision.
Carnivorous fish are difficult to certify organic. Salmon, for example, eat other fish that swim through their territory, and unless we can be sure that all fish in the environment are organic, we can’t technically label this salmon as organic. Farm-raised herbivorous fish, like catfish and tilapia are easier to certify, as organic feed is available. It is, however, still quite expensive, and this is reflected in the price of organic farm-raised fish.