Be “Ocean Wise” with these smart seafood choices

Which seafood and fish are best consumed right now? 

Vancouver-based conservation initiative Ocean Wise recently issued their latest list of sustainable seafood choices. Through the Vancouver Aquarium, Ocean Wise is dedicated to empowering consumers with the knowledge to make ocean-friendly seafood choices, thereby ensuring the vitality of our oceans for the future.

Restaurants Canada has proudly partnered with with Ocean Wise and the Vancouver Aquarium, helping members with up-to-date information on sustainable seafood and where to find it.


Here’s several of the top sustainable seafood choices that you can rest assured are ocean-friendly:


This mollusc is famous for it’s tender meat and iridescent inner shell. Humans have harvested abalone for tens of thousands of years, and considered a delicacy. A popular ingredient served grilled or in stews, abalone have been designated as an Ocean Wise choice with the exception of farmed species in the far eastern waters of Japan and China.


Perhaps one of the most popular species of fish among sporting fishermen, Ocean Wise has cleared all types of bass as a sustainable seafood choice. Which means you won’t have to feel guilty about your next big catch.


While not all species can be considered palatable — indeed, there are some that are too microscopic to be eaten — clams are another favourite mollusc and popular food item. As a sustainable seafood choice, Ocean Wise has given clams the green light, so long as species from parts of India, Vietnam and the Netherlands are avoided.


In 1992, the fishing industry in Atlantic Canada experienced a sudden, devastating collapse as a result of overfishing that had continued unabated since the late 1950s. A moratorium was imposed that same year, making it the largest industrial closure in our country’s history. To this day experts remain cautiously optimistic about a cod comeback. Ocean Wise has cleared only a few types of cod, so make sure to do a careful review of the statistics before selecting this fish.  



With hundreds of species in every size, shape and colour, crabs comprise nearly a quarter of all crustaceans caught or farmed for human consumption worldwide. Prepared a variety of different ways in a hundred different cultures, it’s no shock that Ocean Wise has given crabs a cautious designation with many exclusions based on species and geographical location.


Who doesn’t love shrimp? Without a doubt, we all know at least a handful of people who are crazy about this delicious crustacean. Yet despite it’s widespread abundance almost every ocean, and the steep rise in aquacultural production of shrimp since the 1970s, Ocean Wise has listed several species of shrimp that ought to be avoided to maintain the sustainability of the always popular prawn. Be ocean-wise before picking up your next shipment of shrimp.


As a mainstay of the fishing industry, a wide variety of tuna species are not recommended by Ocean Wise as being sustainability-conscious choices. Bigeye, Blackfin, Bluefin and several species of Albacore tuna are all suggested to be avoided, but others such as Skipjack, Tongol and Yellowfin have more favourable ratings. Refer to the Ocean Wise site for more information on which tuna are the best to purchase to support sustainability. 

 Ocean Wise

Be sure to check out the full scope of this information and more on Ocean Wise’s website, including how to join. Through partnership with Restaurants Canada, members can access extensive research, information and guidance about Ocean Wise seafood. Together we can make seafood sustainable now and for the future.