Hooray for Haddock!
Northeastern seafood lovers are finally off the hook. Henceforth, they will be able to dine on some of the region's iconic fish species with clear consciences—more or less. This week, the Monterey Bay Aquarium's Seafood Watch (my go-to source for making environmentally sound seafood choices) moved Atlantic haddock, Atlantic pollock, summer flounder, and line-caught Gulf of Maine cod to its "Good Alternatives" category—a promotion for some of the species from the "Avoid" list.
"We're always pleased when we see fish stocks recovering through effective management measures," said Jennifer Dianto Kemmerly, director of the aquarium's Seafood Watch program. "That's good for the oceans, and for everyone who enjoys seafood or makes a living catching and selling it."
Most exciting is news that Atlantic haddock, once seriously overfished, have staged a remarkable recovery. So much so that line-caught haddock is now rated in the "Best" category—proof that with proper management, wild fish populations can recover.
Giving Fish a Break
Not to be outdone, the West Coast also came through with some good fishery news. In a narrow, three-to-two vote, California wildlife regulators created marine protected areas along a 250-mile stretch from the Mexican border to Santa Barbara. Fishing in the areas will either be banned or restricted. Research has shown that protected areas help rebuild stocks and, because fish travel, improve catches in adjacent waters where fishing is allowed.