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Feb 8, 2009 11:46 AM

Bottomfeeders: How to Eat Ethically in a World of Vanishing Seafood (split from Quebec board)

I just finished that too - very interesting read, and although I had gone off any farmed fish for years (especially salmon), I am overwhelmed by how invasive overfishing and environmental problems are on all the species. If you go by the book I would focus on the cultures/ types of restaurants that tend to serve more of the "bottomfeeder" type fish like portuguese, eastern europe etc. Good luck!

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  1. Could you give us a quick summary of which types of fish are best to be eating and which to avoid, besides the obvious (tuna/salmon).

    7 Replies
      1. re: The Chemist

        Good ol' David Suzuki has a number of links here. I've used the first one, Sea Choice, very easy to navigate and quick read. But it's tricky to shop smart for seafood, because often the method of harvesting or exact region isn't listed on packaging. I'm usually taking an educated guess.

        Hopefully this doesn't get deleted just cause it's not exactly about restaurants.

        p.s. From a number of sources, I'm under the impression the worst of the trendy fishes is Chilean seabass (as it's usually known on menus). Even worse than farm salmon.

        1. re: Shattered

          SeaChoice is a Canadian organization that publishes its own guide to sustainable seafood. You can grab the "wallet card" guide from the front page of their website:

          The biggest change in my diet after reading Bottomfeeders is to stop eating shrimp, except for the little ones from matane.

          1. re: FoodNovice

            It's interesting that website has a sushi card linked as well
            I had no idea there were varying degrees of eco-friendliness for Uni!

        2. re: The Chemist

          I read Bottomfeeders last year and have totally rethought the seafood I buy. Taras Grescoe has a website and there he lists some of the seafood we ought to consider eating instead of the overfished and illegally fished. Look for "How to Eat Ethically" on the left of his Home page:

          1. re: Gio

            Me too. This was one of my favorite reads last year.

            1. re: Gio

              Actually, that button for the seafood list is on the right of TG's home page. I'm directionally challanged. LOL Mea culpa.....

          2. Get a fishing license; some to the best fishing in the world is in Quebec.

            3 Replies
            1. re: Passadumkeg

              I rarely buy fish anymore. Ok, maybe the occasional swordfish steaks or alaskan halibut fillets but I NEVER buy fish at the grocery store--only at a fishmonger with high turnover. I fish all year long here in San Diego. In the winter, it's rockfish, bass and california halibut, great for fish tacos and baking. In the summer, tuna, yellowtail, dorado and the occasional thresher or mako. I always have a selection of fish vacuum sealed and frozen in the ice chest. It's great to be able to show up at a bbq with 10 lbs of yellowtail fillets that taste as fresh as the day I caught them. Makes it hard to stomach paying $25-30 for a fish dinner at a restaurant when I likely have the same fish in my freezer by the pound.

              1. re: meadandale

                Yup, 2 coasts, 2 brothers. I'm getting a lot of lake trout (togue locally) and salmon ice fishing. Not THAT would be a trip for someone from from Insanediego! Spring brook, brown & rainbow trout from streams and togue and salmon from Tunk Lake. I live 150 yds from the ocean and get mackeral, hake, pollack and striped bass. It is only 1/2 hr drive to our cabin on the lake . We live ther in the summer and I cna fish before work, in the evening and we will often go out in the canoe on moon lit nights, My wife fishes as well. We sometimes use her deceased dad's bamboo fly rods.

                1. re: Passadumkeg

                  Coming from a fishing family I refuse to buy fish if I do not know where it came from or how it was caught. I am lucky enought to have a freezer full of Wahoo, albacore tuna and other types of tuna, mahi-mahi and local spiny lobster…(hubby is a fisherman)

                  When we travel we try like heck to support lobster co-ops and resturants that support local fishermen...Being from a fishing family we really to try to go the extra length. I try my hardest NOT to buy seafood that has been caught by the “bad” fisherman of the world…and do they deserve to be called fishermen?