4. Fish come with a low carbon footprint
If eating meat is equal to a Shaqsized footprint, seafood is more like a sandal. The Environmental Working Group says even lamb produces more than six times the greenhouse gas emissions as canned tuna. How the fish was caught can also make a difference. According to data published in Science News, purse seining (in which a wall of netting encircles schools of fish) and gillnetting (in which a curtain of netting captures fish) trump trolling. In fact, a study in the journal Environmental Science and Technology found that switching your diet from beef and dairy to fish, chicken and vegetables can have more of an environmental impact than shifting to an entirely locally grown diet. Find out how your fish choice affects the environment by checking out the “Carbon Fishprint” system developed by ProFish (profish.com), a Washington, D.C.- based seafood distributor.
5. Canned seafood is more than convenient
No need to get your knickers in a knot over fish from a can. “Most of the products that are canned tend to be sustainable,” says Seaver, who gives a thumbs up to canned Alaskan pink salmon, mussels, clams, oysters, mackerel, herring, sardines and anchovies, and poleand- line- or troll-caught tuna (check the tuna package to see how it’s caught). Plus, it’s one of the best protein bangs for your supermarket buck, adds Geagan, who makes tuna melts, salmon burgers and red sauce with mashed sardines. But be aware of toxins: BPA could be lurking in the can lining. Avoid the suspect chemical by picking fish packaged in pouches or jars and opting for companies that offer BPA-free cans, such as Wild Planet, EcoFish, Vital Choice and Oregon’s Choice.
6. Frozen can be even “fresher” than fresh fish
The technology for freezing fish has come a long way. Seafood is flash-frozen at sea, instantly locking in nutrition and freshness, and transported by container ship, rail or truck at a much lower environmental cost than fresh fish, which is often air freighted. One study found that fresh salmon has about twice the environmental impact as frozen salmon. “The fillets stay fresh and pristine in the freezer until the morning of the meal,” says Seaver.