Eat low on the food chain! Farmed-raised vegetarian fish such as tilapia and catfish may be the absolute best. Beyond that, small schooling fish such as sardines and anchovies provide a lot of essential nutrients and have fisheries that are comparatively less harmful to the environment, particularly when going directly towards human consumption as opposed to use as livestock feed or fertilzers.
NPR dod a great segment called the “Perils of Overfishing” where “Daniel Pauly, a professor at the Fisheries Centre of the University of British Columbia, warns that the global fishing industry has drastically depleted the number of fish in the oceans.” She encourages eating herbivorous and wild caught fish. This includes shelfish, catfish and tilapia. I encourage you to listen to part 1 and 2 of the segment or read the transcript.
A useful consumer guide on fish is the Seafood Watch put out by the Monterey Bay Aqarium. You can get wallet versions by your region and they even have an iphone app. It tells you which fish are raised/caught sustainably and which ones to avoid at all costs. Fish on the Red or avoid list are shark, swordfish, bluefin tuna, orange roughy and red snapper. Tilapia, catfish, and sardines are all on the green or best choice list for my area. But be careful wild caught is not always the best option.
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