The dynamic sea off the Orange County coast is like no other, especially now during a cyclical abundance of marine life—including whales, dolphins, sea lions, and seals. Let this month’s special issue immerse you in the glory and power of our most treasured and fragile resource. Registered Orange Coast Insiders can read our accompanying list that explains which local seafood restaurants serve sustainable species—and which don’t.
Dining Clean and Green?
So, you’re only eating seafood that’s plentiful and sustainable. Good for you! And good luck with that …
Most menus provide little information, and marine conservation organizations sometimes offer conflicting advice. So what can a diner do? Ask questions. We took our own advice and asked these restaurants: Is this fish wild or farmed? Where was it caught? And how? Then we compared their answers to the recommendations of the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch guidelines, a three-tiered system that rates fish as best choice, next-best choice, or avoid. In some cases the same fish gets a different assessment because restaurants buy from different sources. Several local restaurants declined to participate, but we pressed on because sustainability is an important issue for the fishing industry as well as consumers. After all, if fish disappear, so do seafood restaurants. Consider this chart a conversation starting point. And please, pass the lemon.
This article originally appeared in the May 2012 issue of Orange Coast magazine.