one fish, two fish, red fish…

One of the things that made the no-impact project so difficult was trying to figure out the pet issues. I don’t mean my “pet” issues… I mean what to do about pet care? The litter, the scooping, what to feed them and which way to buy it… Since most of the pet food my kitties eat is fish-based, this was a difficult read. Luckily, they love sardines, and those have escaped this list.

table for one

22 fish you shouldn’t eat, by GreenPeace.
(this is just an excerpt… full detais available at their site here.

Albacore Tuna
Albacore is the only tuna species that may be marketed as “white meat tuna” in the U.S. and contributes to the bulk of the country’s canned tuna supply.

Atlantic Cod
Most people associate Atlantic cod as the white fish found in popular fish and chips meals. Atlantic cod, a groundfish that hovers at the seafloor, grows fast and breeds at an early age. Many Atlantic cod stocks plummeted in the 1990s due to overfishing, and rebuilding efforts have not yet succeeded.

Atlantic Halibut
Atlantic, common or white halibut is one of the largest of the flatfish. Atlantic halibut grow slowly and mature late, making it vulnerable to overfishing. They live on the ocean bottom in varied depths of water and, like a chameleon, take on protective coloration to match the sand, mud or gravel of its surroundings. Atlantic halibut has a long history of commercial exploitation due to being a very popular table fish in both North America and Europe as far back as the late 1800s.

Atlantic Salmon
Atlantic salmon’s popularity has increased dramatically in recent years, in large part because of growing consumer interest in eating foods high in omega-3 fatty acids. Atlantic salmon is endangered in the wild, so virtually all Atlantic salmon sold commercially is farm raised.

Atlantic Sea Scallop
Scallops, recognized for their beautiful outer shell, use a strong, circular muscle to clap their shells together, letting them “fly” through the water out of harm’s way. It is this circular (abductor) muscle that is prized as seafood.

Bigeye Tuna
A valuable tuna prized for its sashimi-quality flesh, bigeye is found throughout the world’s oceans and the long-term ecosystem effects of removing large predators such as tuna are not fully understood. Bigeye tuna is sometimes referred to as ahi, as is yellowfin tuna.

Bluefin Tuna
This fish is the largest species of tuna reaching lengths of up to ten feet long and weights of 1,500 pounds. Bluefin tuna are the world’s most valuable fish for sushi because of its high oil content. An individual bluefin can be worth over $30,000.00 at the Tokyo fish auction. The high demand bluefin has taken its toll leaving severely depleted populations throughout its range. Bluefin also contains elevated levels of mercury and PCBs.

Chilean Sea Bass
Also called Patagonian toothfish, Chilean sea bass is one of the most sought-after fish in the world. The Chileans were the first to market toothfish commercially in the U.S., earning it the name Chilean sea bass, although it is really not a bass and it is not always caught in Chilean waters. The U.S. is the largest market for Chilean sea bass, followed by Japan and China. The once-obscure fish became a culinary celebrity during the 1990s however fish populations cannot keep up with the demand. Unless people stop eating Chilean sea bass, it may be commercially extinct within five years.

Greenland Halibut
The Greenland halibut is a strange-looking, but popular seafood that lives in the deep, cold waters of the north Pacific and north Atlantic oceans. The halibut’s left eye is positioned on its forehead, giving it an appearance of a cyclops when looking straight at it. Greenland halibut are long-lived, slow growing and mature late, making it very vulnerable to overfishing.

There are more than 85 species of grouper found worldwide. Groupers are relatively long-lived (up to 40 years) and reproduce for only a short period of time, making them especially vulnerable to overfishing.

Hoki is a white fish and has different regional names such as blue hake, blue grenadier, and whiptail. In the U.S., hoki is mostly used in restaurants, though it’s seldom noted on menus. Fast-food chains like hoki for its versatility and interchange it with pollock or cod. Most Americans have no clue that hoki is often what they’re eating in fried-fish sandwiches and fish and chips.

This bottom fish was at one time discarded when caught incidentally in the Atlantic cod and scallop fisheries. As these other fisheries declined, monkfish began to be marketed as gourmet fare. Unfortunately, high demand has encouraged heavy fishing and populations have become overfished off the U.S. Atlantic coast.

Ocean Quahog
Ocean quahogs, a clam, are among the longest lived, slowest growing marine organisms in the world. Ocean quahogs off Southern New England, in the mid-Atlantic Bight and on Georges Bank can live over 200 years.

Orange Roughy
Also called the slimehead, deep sea perch or red roughy, the orange roughy is a sedentary fish that dwells in deep cold waters. A slow-growing, late-maturing fish, orange roughy is one of the longest-living fish (up to 149 years) in the sea. In the U.S., orange roughy is sold skinned and filleted, fresh or frozen. In restaurants they are seen as a delicacy.

Pollock are considered one of the most important fish resources in the world with 2.2 million tons caught each year valued $2 billion dollars worth of fish. Pollock serve as important prey for many marine mammals and are also consumed by humans in many forms — most commonly as fish sticks or breaded fish fillets.

Redfish is a slow-growing, deepwater fish with bright-red or orange-red coloring. They are called redfish in New England and eastern Canada and should not be confused with redfish from the Gulf of Mexico, which are different. Ocean perch is a leading retail product in the Midwest, where the name “perch” is an easy sell because of its freshwater connotation.

Red Snapper
Red snapper are a prized seafood and are caught commercially, as well as recreationally. They are a slow growing species that mature late. Many are caught before they have had a chance to reproduce.
Mislabeling of red snapper for consumers is a big problem with this fish. Genetic studies have shown that many fish sold as red snapper in the U.S. are not actually red snapper, but other species.

Sharks play a vital role in maintaining the health of marine ecosystems and their stocks are in serious trouble. Sharks are harvested for their fins, meat, or liver oil. The most valuable part of a shark is usually its fins, which are the principal ingredient of shark fin soup. This traditional Chinese delicacy is increasingly in demand as, thanks to a booming Chinese economy, more people are able to afford it. More than one hundred million sharks are killed every year by commercial fisheries. Shark-finning and fisheries in which sharks are caught as bycatch are the greatest threats to sharks.

SKates and Rays
Previously discarded as “trash fish,” skates have become an increasingly important bycatch in other bottom trawl fisheries as the populations of other bottom-dwelling fish (such as cod and haddock) have declined.


Known for its sharp, pointed bill which is used for protection and hunting prey, swordfish are a highly migratory billfish prized by both recreational and commercial fishers. In addition to U.S. fisheries, more than 20 countries catch swordfish, including Singapore, Brazil, Panama and South Africa.

Tropical Shrimp
Tropical shrimp, both farmed and wild caught, are warm water species. About 80% of the world’s wild caught shrimp is tropical.

Yellowfin Tuna
Yellowfin tuna are named for their bright yellow finlets, and dorsal and anal fins. This large tuna species can be black, dark blue or greenish on top with a yellow or silver belly. Yellowfin is a staple of the tuna canning industry and most often appears in the market as canned light tuna. It’s also known as ahi when sold fresh and frozen, and is commonly found on sushi menus.


(Oh, and then there’s my other “pet” issue: I love sushi. I’ve cut back from once or twice a week to once or twice a month, but I guess tuna is off the menu for all but the most special occasions now. *sad face*
and while I always thougt california rolls were pretty safe, I just realized those are usually pollock. ack


2 thoughts on “one fish, two fish, red fish…

  1. I wonder what the rules are for the fish I get from my sis and her husband? It’s salmon and halibut, both of which are on this list, but it’s also wild caught by my bother-in-law and not commercially fished. So… is that good or bad? I hate these issues cause there’s never a good answer.

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