Fish To Eat Always, Never, and Sometimes

Eating fish and seafood means staying informed. This guide allows people to understand what kinds of fish to eat always, sometimes, and never.

| September-October 2008

  • Bottomfeeder Jacket (Sized)

  • Bottomfeeder Jacket (Sized)

This article is part of a package on ethical seafood. For mouth-watering recipes, sustainable seafood news, and myriad resources to help readers stay informed and eat sustainably visit

The following seafood suggestions are adapted from the ultra-informative appendix to Bottomfeeder, in which Taras Grescoe shares his personal recommendations for sustainable fare. Grescoe's experience, drawn from "a decade of fish eating, and a year and a half of visiting markets and reading menus worldwide," is extremely helpful in explaining the sustainable way to enjoy those "sometimes" seafoods: the fickle favorites we can still enjoy eating, but under the proper circumstances.--The Editors

Absolutely, Always: Artic char, Halibut (Pacific), Herring, Jellyfish, Mackerel, Mullet, Mussels, Oysters, Pollock, Sablefish, Sardines, Squid, Trout 

No, Never: Bluefin tuna, Chilean sea bass, Cod (Atlantic), Dogfish, Flounder, Grouper, Halibut (Atlantic), Monkfish, Orange Roughy, Sharks, Skates, Sole (Atlantic), Tilefish

Sometimes, Depends…

Anchovy. Low in mercury, high in omega-3s. Available canned, salted, pickled in vinegar, and fermented in Asian sauces. Though flavorful and good for you, anchovy numbers in the North Atlantic and Mediterranean are at an all-time low. Until the fishery in the Bay of Biscay is reopened, avoid.