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22
May
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Sustainable Seafood Buying Guide For Chefs

Part of being a chef is figuring out whether or not you can fit your ethics into your food costs. If you want a stellar seafood program, you have to decide if you can afford your principles. As chefs, you may need the extra guidance that can be offered with a seafood buying guide.

So If you’re in search of a sustainable seafood buying guide, we want to make sure you’re covered. As sustainable seafood providers, we focus on ensuring the best quality seafood from reputable fisheries across the country. We recognize that not everyone knows a lot about sustainability, and chefs do not have the time to focus on the research involved. Nevertheless, menus must be planned ahead of time, and seasonality is important when focused on sustainability. Here is some helpful information you can use while planning your menu based on the seasons while keeping your food costs in mind.

Buy Fish in Season

Our oceans are impacted by everything we do, and restaurants are inherently not sustainable. When doing everything we can to exercise our passions while maintaining our oceans, we must be mindful of the seasons. Overfishing is something we hope to help prevent, so our seasonal offerings always vary.

Overfishing has led to the depletion of one-third of our global fish populations. As a result, ocean mercury levels have risen and have impacted fish quality.

Monterey Bay has an incredible guide for sustainable fish! If you are wanting to learn about a particular fish, they have a searchable database to help guide your efforts: Seafood Watch Seafood Recommendations

Mercury and sustainability

If mercury reduction is your focus, there are many fish that are safe to consume. As a general rule, smaller fish contain less mercury than larger varieties.

Larger fish contain more mercury simply due to the fact that, as predators, they absorb any contaminants their prey may contain. This process is called biomagnification.

LEAST MERCURY

MODERATE MERCURY

HIGH MERCURY

HIGHEST MERCURY

Enjoy these fish

Eat six servings or less per month

Eat three servings or less per month

Avoid eating

Anchovies

Bass (Saltwater, Striped, Black)

Croaker (White Pacific)

Bluefish

Butterfish

Buffalofish

Halibut (Atlantic, Pacific)

Grouper

Catfish

Carp

Mackerel (Spanish, Gulf)

Mackerel (King)

Clam

Cod (Alaskan)

Perch (Ocean)

Marlin

Crab (Domestic)

Lobster

Sablefish

Orange Roughy

Crawfish/Crayfish

Mahi Mahi

Sea Bass (Chilean)

Shark

Croaker (Atlantic)

Monkfish

Tuna (Albacore, Yellowfin)

Swordfish

Flounder

Perch (Freshwater)

Tuna

(Bigeye, Ahi)

Haddock (Atlantic)

Sheepshead

Hake

Skate

Herring

Snapper

Jacksmelt (Silverside)

Tilefish (Atlantic)

Mackerel

(N. Atlantic, Chub)

Tuna (Canned chunk light, Skipjack)

Reputable Fisheries

We do the research to ensure that our fisheries provide quality seafood caught by sustainable methods. This is why we go small!

In the U.S., we have enforceable catch limits, so that species do not become exploited and overfished. This also serves to prevent too many other species becoming victims of bycatch; the capture of other marine life in nets. Many harvesting methods are destructive, and legal fisheries can be fined heavily if caught practicing these methods of fishing.

U.S. fisheries have made incredible progress towards ending overfishing to rebuild our oceans. To ensure you’re buying sustainably caught fish, Monterey Bay Aquarium provides a simple app!

Boat to Fork

You’ve heard of farm-to-fork, but what about boat-to-fork? This is why we focus on small-scale fishermen who employ lower impact methods to catch their products.

As seafood purveyors, our price list and costs automatically fluctuate with variety and cost with the season. Common wisdom dictates that when buying seasonally, not only is quality far better, but the price is better overall.

It takes a lot of time and energy to think about seafood sustainability, so you’re welcome to leave that to us with our seafood program for restaurants. We’ve done the homework! While focusing on providing boat-to-fork solutions for chefs, we ensure each fishery is up to out ethical and quality standards.

If you know exactly what you want, please subscribe to our price list! You’ll find that our consistent updates will give you everything you need to serve your guests with sustainability and quality.

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