There’s no way to say this gently. We’re stripping the ocean of fish faster than they can replenish their populations, and that poses one of the greatest threats to the ocean ecosystem today. So what can we do about it? A lot, thank goodness.
Start by eating only ocean-friendly seafood. Every year, Seafood Watch at the Monterey Bay Aquarium publishes their state-by-state consumer guides that spell out the most sustainable seafood choices. The guides also let you know what species are a good alternative and the ones to avoid completely. The best part? They fold up small enough to fit in your wallet so you can have them handy when you shop.
While you are at the market or out to eat, be sure to ask whether the seafood is sustainable. Knowing customers care about protecting the ocean helps businesses make their own good choices.
Pan-Roasted Salmon with Fennel Salad
This super simple recipe, courtesy of Bon Appetit, makes for a quick and easy weeknight dinner. It also shows off a sustainable seafood choice: wild Alaskan salmon. If you’re feeling adventurous, substitute farmed Arctic Char—another ocean-friendly fish that has a similar look and flavor to salmon. With either fish, leave the skin on. It protects the delicate fish and provides a nice crispy texture.
Yield: Makes 4 servings
- 1/2 fennel bulb, plus 2 tablespoons fronds
- 2 tablespoons fresh orange juice
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons grapeseed or vegetable oil
- 1 one-pound skin-on salmon fillet, wild-caught, cut into 4 pieces
Preheat oven to 350°. Using a mandoline, finely shave fennel; transfer to a medium bowl. Add fennel fronds, orange juice, and olive oil; toss to combine. Season salad with salt and pepper.
Heat grapeseed oil in a large ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. Season salmon pieces with salt and pepper. Place salmon in skillet skin side down. Cook without moving, pressing gently on fillets with a spatula to ensure skin is in full contact with pan, until skin is golden and crisp, about 5 minutes. Transfer skillet to oven (do not turn fish over) and roast until salmon is just opaque in center, 3-4 minutes for medium-rare (time will depend on thickness of fish and desired doneness).
Divide fennel salad among plates. Top with salmon skin side up.