Good news alert!
Today the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch program awarded a green seafood recommendation, the highest recommendation rating attainable, to the Chesapeake Bay’s blue catfish. The green rating indicates that the Seafood Watch program recommends the blue catfish as a “best choice” in seafood, meaning consumers should preferentially purchase the fish. The Chesapeake Bay blue catfish is the first invasive species nationally to be assessed and rated by the Seafood Watch program.
Achieving a green rating is significant for the Bay region in that it can help spur purchasing of the fish, fueling economic development and the removal of more fish from the water; this is critical to the mission of the Wide Net Project, which is why we initiated this rating process, a year-long endeavor.
The Monterey Bay Aquarium's Seafood Watch program encourages consumers and businesses to purchase seafood that is fished or farmed in environmentally conscious ways. Since 1999, the program has evaluated the sustainability of fisheries and aquaculture operations across the globe. They share the resulting seafood recommendations with the public and businesses to guide smart purchasing and transform the seafood marketplace in favor of environmentally-conscious operations. The green rating awarded to the blue catfish is the highest of three possible rankings, followed by the yellow (good alternative) and the red (avoid) rankings. The Seafood Watch Program makes these recommendations according to an extensive set of criteria. The full report can be read here.
The Seafood Watch assessment was made possible through funding to the Wide Net Project from the Maryland Department of Natural Resources via the EPA’s Chesapeake Bay Implementation Grant program. This couldn't have happened without their support and vision for the future of this fishery and the watershed.
Yet another reason to buy Chesapeake Bay blue catfish!