Editorial: Good day for West Coast groundfish

It was good news in 1999, when an outfit named Seafood Watch made handy for diners a guide that listed fish in danger. Among other things, it helped people know that several species were overfished and that a wise individual choice in ordering at the restaurant might help certain stocks to rebound.
 
The downer, of course, was that so many fish landed off Oregon’s coast were said to be in decline and their habitats pummeled in the harvesting – indeed, how could one hungry diner really make a difference? There was worry, too, about the sustainability of Oregon’s coastal fishery, which annually lands millions of pounds of sole, snapper and several other varieties of groundfish: Not only were fish in peril but jobs in catching them were, too.
 
So it was especially good to learn that Seafood Watch, based at the Monterey Bay Aquarium, has issued new rankings that dramatically return once-familiar fish to the menu: all trawl- and longline-caught rockfish, for example, long a staple of Oregon’s coastal fishery, rose from “Avoid” to “Good Alternative” or “Best Choice,” The Oregonian’s Lynne Terry reported. Meanwhile, Pacific grenadier moved up from “Avoid” to “Good Alternative,” and several flatfish species, among them sole and Pacific sanddabs, bumped upward from a respectable “Good Alternative” to “Best Choice.”
 
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