How to Pick Your Fish

rainbow trout stuffed with sliced lemon, bay leaves & sprigs of thyme baked with cherry tomatoes

In the face of imminent bluefin tuna extinction with monkfish, marlin, swordfish and more all coming closer to the same fate, your choices at the fish counter are now more important than ever.

The easiest way to pick your fish with a clear consience is to start with location – choose lake over ocean. Lake fish are plentiful in Ontario, they’re local and they are usually fished with sustainable methods that are safe for the environment. Trout, pickerel and perch are some favourites and all are easy to prepare.
For sustainably farmed options, farmed shrimp and salmon operations are toxic to the environment and should be avoided, according to Ocean Wise, a non-profit group dedicated to educating Canadians about sustainable fish choices. According to their website,
“Sustainably farmed options include shellfish such as oysters, scallops, mussels and clams which are farmed on lines or trays suspended from rafts and are more sustainable than their wild counterparts. Inland closed system farms are a good alternative and include species such as rainbow trout, tilapia, sturgeon, channel catfish and Arctic char.”
Everyone is trying to do their part to ensure today’s kids don’t grow up in a fish-free world, it can be as simple as choosing farmed mussels over the shrimp from Thailand or filets of trout instead of shark steaks. The hardest part is changing our eating habits, in a world of  all you can eat shrimp buffets and gala dinners where the menu reads ‘chicken, steak or salmon’ it’s time to start asking for pickerel.

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