How to find sustainable seafood in San Diego

san-diego-seafoodYou missed out if you did not attend Signs of the Tide last night. We had a packed house of informative speakers and engaged audience members who all wanted to know–how do I buy sustainable seafood in San Diego? We have a full event recap coming soon, but San Diego Coastkeeper promised to share this list of San Diego-based seafood retailers and restaurants that we compiled in conjunction with Slow Food Urban San Diego (like them on facebook). Remember, this is not an exhaustive list.

Remember what we said–do your research, ask questions, know your priorities and ask more questions. We do not promise that all of these businesses only buy from San Diego fisherman or only sell fish from San Diego’s waters. We also do not promise that all of the fish they sell meet safe harvesting practices. But, we do know that this starting place will get you in the right direction so that you can begin asking for and supporting the use of local fish caught sustainably by local fishermen.

Also, like our friends at San Diego Fisherman’s Working Group on facebook. That’s how you can keep in touch with Pete Halmay and get updates on his progress in developing a way to buy fish directly from San Diego’s fishermen at the docks.

Big thanks to all of our speakers Dr. Russ Vettner, Chef Chad White, Fisherman Pete Halmay and Maritime Alliance President Michael Jones.

And please weigh in–where do you find your local sustainable fish in San Diego?

What can you Do?

1. Select Sustainable: Get educated about the solutions to the global issue of depleting fish populations–choose the a sustainable fish caught with sustainable practices. You can download the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch Guide or smart phone app. You can also look for the blue Marine Stewardship Council certification on seafood available in stores. This label carries products from fisheries assessed by the Council as originating from a sustainable fishery, which allows gives consumers to identify and purchase seafood from well-managed sources. As an educated consumer, remember to ask questions when you visit a retailer or restaurant.

2. Buy Local Fish: Remember to ask where your fish is from. Seafood that is caught outside of San Diego must be shipped long distances to reach our plates. This requires large amounts of fuel, which releases many pollutants into the air that harm our environment. Seafood that is caught or raised in San Diego spends far less time in transit; giving consumers a product that has a smaller carbon footprint and helps our local economy. Knowing where fishermen catch your seafood enables you to choose healthy options of the freshest and highest quality seafood. Thinking local ensures that local fishing communities can compete with large national and international processors and maintain traditional coastal communities.

3. Support Local Fishermen: San Diego has a fleet of small-scale, owner-operated boats that target well-managed fish populations. By supporting local fishermen, you’ll preserve the environment and strengthen your community by investing your food dollars close to home. Buying local is this easy: find a fish merchant or retailer that purchases fish primarily from fishermen who practice sustainable fishing techniques in local waters and eat at local restaurants that have an environmentally conscious philosophy. The small additional cost of a locally caught fish is a wise investment in our ocean’s and our region’s future. Soon you will also be able to buy directly from fishermen, on the docks and at farmer’s markets.

Sustainable Local Restaurants
Remember, be an educated consumer
and ask questions–don’t assume all fish
served at these restaurants are sustainable or local.

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Sustainable Seafood Retailers
Remember, be an educated consumer
and ask questions–don’t assume all fish
sold at these retailers are sustainable or local.