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Tasty alternatives for your favorite seafood - try a different catch

A lot of people eat salmon and tuna, but experts say it's time to think about making a change to save fish and the oceans.
February 20, 2014 12:00:00 AM PST
A lot of people eat salmon, tuna and shrimp, but experts say it's time to start thinking about making a change to save fish and the oceans. They're urging us to eat species you rarely see on the menu.

"The oceans are in trouble. We have some work to do to kind of change our habits and start to eat a little lower on the food chain," said Mary Sue Milliken, chef and co-owner of Border Grill.

While Americans are eating more fish, they're eating the same kinds. In fact, according to National Geographic Ocean Initiative, 95 percent of the fish we eat is only from 10 species. Salmon, shrimp and tuna account for 60 percent of it.

Smaller catch like pollock, whitefish, monkfish and wolfish, for example, aren't popular - yet they're delicious choices.

Instead of Bluefin tuna try wahoo; rather than Chilean sea bass go for Alaskan Sable fish; and there are loads more flakey white fish than cod.

Going beyond canned tuna, Milliken suggests using canned sardines or canned mackerel.

"I chop it up with celery, and onions, and lots of lemon juice, and a little mayonnaise, and we eat it just like tuna salad," said Milliken.

Dining out? Ask for fish in season.

"We use a winter haddock so it has a lot more natural fattiness to it," said Mark Adair, corporate chef at Bonefish Grill. "It's a lot richer tasting but still a very mild fish so it's a great fish for a fish beginner."

A common misconception is that all wild seafood is good and all farm raised is bad. But actually, globally about 50 percent of the fish produced come from farm raised and many are quite sustainable.

"Just like there's bad wheat farmers, there's also bad fish farmers, but there's some really awesome fish farmers as well," said Adair.

If you're unfamiliar, Milliken suggests checking with Seafood Solutions or the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch program.