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The ocean is filled with some of the world’s most beautiful creatures. So it is important to understand how sustainable fishing works and what you can do to protect the transfer of these delicacies from sea to plate.

All fish is either farmed or wild caught nowadays and the sustainable food movement is growing stronger to make the consumer more aware of the protection of our marine ecosystem.

With extreme levels of mercury and dangerous bouts of overfishing in our oceans, buying seafood can be confusing and misleading. Here are some of my top tips and tricks to buying seafood safely.

Get to know your seafood monger: Having trust is the key to any good relationship. That’s why it’s important to really get to know your local seafood monger. I have had a long-standing friendship with a local seafood market that not only gives me a detailed background of where my fish is coming from but they also purchase seafood from fishermen who practice sustainable methods.

Wild vs. farmed: Whenever you’re shopping for seafood, make sure to ask if it has been wild caught or farm-raised. Most farm-raised fish are exposed to dangerous antibiotics, bacteria-laden ice, and are fed chicken and pig feces. Simply ask your fish monger to show you the difference when purchasing or if you happen to be at a restaurant, have your server ask the chef if your Roasted Salmon En Croute is farmed or wild caught.

Buy Local: There is a lack of standards when it comes to inspecting seafood from overseas. The USDA is only required to inspect 2% of fish that is flown in from other countries. Let’s raise a red flag to that and stick to buying from our local fishermen.

By educating yourself and making the right decisions, you can help make a difference for our oceans and our ecosystem. To learn more about seafood buying guides go to http://www.seafoodwatch.org/.

Image: Crawfish Stuffed Calamari on Cookmore

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