Whether you live on the coast or hundreds of miles from the ocean, chances are you probably have some killer seafood restaurants near you. Ahh, modern transportation! But still, as much as you can crush a basket of fish and chips or house some peel and eat shrimp (who isn’t ‘that guy’ at a party?), our ability to eat delicious seafood any and everywhere has negative effects on our oceans.
World Oceans Day is not just about keeping plastic out of the ocean – though of course, that’s what gets us really fired up. It’s also about sustaining the many species that live underwater by protecting against overfishing. Lucky for us, there are many restaurants and businesses committed to sourcing seafood from sustainable fisheries and limiting their selection to the healthiest populations of fish. Check out some of our favorites from coast to coast:
The Lucky Fig: Less than 10% of fish and shrimp sold in the U.S. comes from our own waters. Wha??! This food truck turned food inspiration truck in Houston proved that even small restaurants can make a big difference. When serving food from the truck, owner Luca Manfe relied on local farmers and suppliers to source all his ingredients, including seafood, which was exclusively wild caught directly from the Gulf. Today, Luca and team us The Lucky Fig as a pop-up inspiration truck, teaching others about the importance of sustainable, farm-to-table, or perhaps “gulf-to-table,” food.
Goin’ Coastal: This Atlanta restaurant prides itself on being a 100% sustainable seafood joint. That means fish are caught at the right age and weight, by the right means of harvest, and they source according to the Georgia Aquarium Seafood Savvy Program. Plus, they buy local and organic whenever possible. So much Atlanta love, swoon.
Reef: If you’ve ordered Gulf oysters recently, it’s largely thanks to Chef Bryan Caswell of Reef. Caswell has long been a champion of local and domestic seafood. Among other accomplishments, he and the restaurant Reef in Houston helped facilitate the return of Gulf appellation oysters. Shuck yeah!
Shedd Aquarium: Though we’re celebrating World Oceans Day, not all fish come from our seas. In fact, sourcing fish from rivers and lakes can help alleviate the pressures placed on oceanic species. Shedd Aquarium in Chicago works with numerous area restaurants through its Right Bite program, introducing Great Lakes fish including rainbow smelt, walleye and lake trout to consumers. They put the ‘Great’ in Great Lakes.
Central Market: If you’re in the market for some sustainable seafood to cook at home, you’re in luck if you live in Texas. You can find just about anything on display at Central Market, without worrying about where it comes from or if it’s safe. The American red snapper and grouper, for example, are tagged as “Gulf Wild.” Even the farm-raised salmon comes from an aquaculture company that uses low-density pens and enlightened feed sources in their sustainable fish-farming program. The buyers for this impressive market travel the world to physically inspect the boats and fishing methods, so every item sold has passed with flying-fish colors.
Sustainable fishing practices are not only environmentally responsible, but they also yield the highest quality seafood. That’s a delicious win/win.
References made to businesses and organizations in this post does not imply endorsement of or by Rubicon in affiliation with those businesses or organizations.