For the first time an ocean-farmed salmon has gotten a coveted nod from an influential "eco-friendly" fish list. On Monday the Monterey Bay Aquarium's Seafood Watch program moved Verlasso farmed salmon from Chile to its "yellow list" as a good alternative.
The Seafood Watch list is one of several that assign seafood a red, yellow or green rating, based on their sustainability and environmental impact. Red is "avoid," yellow is "good alternative" and green is "best choice."
Consumers and wholesale buyers use these lists "to make choices for healthy oceans," says Peter Bridson, the Seafood Watch aquaculture manager.
Up until now none of these lists has included salmon raised in ocean-based fish farms. Farmed salmon has long been disdained by environmentally motivated consumers. One reason was because salmon must be given feed high in omega 3 fatty acids to thrive. Ground-up herring, anchoveta and other fatty fish contain those fatty acids and were used to make salmon feed.