Monterey Bay Aquarium's Seafood Watch iPhone App helps consumers find sustainable seafood

The Monterey Bay Aquarium is not just an entertaining way to spend a Sunday afternoon looking at marine life. Built on science and research, the institution is also a leading voice in sustainable fishing methods and environmental practices.

Announcing its new iPhone App, Seafood Watch, the Monterey Bay Aquarium offers consumers an easy way to navigate restaurants and retailers in their area who are providing legitimately sustainable seafood.

In a recent report from consumer watchdog group, Food & Water Watch slammed dozens of ‘eco’ fish labels due to the self-regulated nature of the industry leading to dozens of agencies suspected of misrepresenting consumers and certifying fisheries who don’t meet standards.

Says Ken Peterson, Communications Director for the Monterey Bay Aquarium, “In the realm of honest information about seafood, the Aquarium’s Seafood Watch program bases its recommendations – for consumers and major buyers like Whole Foods and big food service companies – on solid science, analyzed through a set of criteria we believe are essential to healthy oceans.”

According to Peterson, the Aquarium’s goal is to get the information to consumers through as many direct channels as possible, which is why an iPhone app made so much sense.

Though big retailers like Wal Mart have been singled out for their rather large carbon footprint, specifically when it comes to farmed fish like the Chilean salmon directly related to the retail giant is one reason it’s on the Seafood Watch’s “Avoid” list. But, according to Peterson, it may not be what they’re known for much longer, “the company made a commitment several years ago to begin sourcing only sustainable seafood within a five-year period.”  They’ve also recently out-greened Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s by implementing a zero waste policy on short-dated food items by ensuring they get to shelters and soup kitchens where millions of hungry Americans turn for food.

With the new Seafood Watch app now available, users can stay up to speed on developments such as Wal Mart’s sources of sustainable fish. They can also add locations of restaurants they find that are serving sustainable seafood which will then be reviewed by the Aquarium for approval. The app is free (just search it from your mobile app store), and you can get more info on it here.

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