Updated Seafood Watch Recommendations for 2018: Hawaiian Tuna
Monterey Bay Aquarium’s updated Seafood Watch recommendations are out for 2018. Here’s what you need to know:
Seafood wholesalers, retailers, chefs, and restaurants are all familiar with Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch rating system. And while the list of sustainability certifications is a long one, Seafood Watch’s “Best Choice” “Good Alternative” and “Avoid” recommendations continue to be the best known and most widely adopted in the sustainable seafood marketplace.
The biggest change in the updated recommendations for 2018 is the “Good Alternative” designation for bigeye tuna caught in the Western and Central Pacific Ocean by Hawaii longliners. This is a major improvement over the “Avoid” designation that held prior and comes on the heels of an optimistic stock assessment released at the end of last year by the scientific body known as the Secretariat of the Pacific Community.
Here are the current Seafood Watch recommendations for the three Hawaii longline caught tuna species. The distinction between Hawaii Western Central Pacific and Hawaii Eastern Pacific is due to the fact that the Hawaii fishing grounds straddle two separate management jurisdictions and throughout the course of the calendar year fish are landed from both areas.
While this is certainly good news, it’s worth noting that Seafood Watch hasn’t always been so appreciative or consistent in their recommendations for species targeted by the Hawaii longline fishery. And while Hawaiian tuna is in the clear for now, there remain instances where this fishery is still not getting the credit and recognition it deserves as a sustainable model. We'll be discussing these in more detail in a future post. In the meantime, know that we designate our fleet's catch of Hawaiian Fresh Seafood as the BEST CHOICE!