The Most Responsibly Farmed Fish to Eat

Platter of sustainable farmed fish

The global population is increasing, and so is the volume of fish that people are consuming. That means choosing to eat responsibly farmed fish is one of the best things you can do to help ensure fish populations remain plentiful for generations to come. We’ve got a list of the most responsible farmed fish to eat. Keep your eyes open for these types when you’re shopping at your local grocery store like Costco or Safeway.


Tilapia sustainable fish healthy choice

Tilapia that’s been raised responsibly is a great option. Tilapia is fish that has lots of nutrients, but doesn’t have the fishy flavor that turns some people away from seafood. Farms like Regal Springs raise their Tilapia in floating pens. That means the fish eat only the vegetable-based diet they’re fed by the farmers. The Tilapia are raised without drugs, antibiotics or hormones and are naturally mercury-free.


Closed Contaminant Farmed Salmon Sustainable

Salmon is one of the most popular fish to eat in the United States, which means we have to be very careful not to overfish it. Eating farmed salmon is one way to make sure that the wild stocks have enough left to keep the population healthy. Today, aquaculture experts can even produce healthy salmon indoors, which means it has zero impact on the surrounding environment.

To be sure that you’re purchasing responsibly farmed salmon, look for labels with certifications from SeaChoice and Seafood Watch.

Arctic Char

Farmed Arctic Char Sustainable Fish Eat

Arctic char is a popular fish choice due to its slightly sweet taste, but wild char from remote northern waters are in limited supply. For a more responsible option, choose to eat farmed Arctic char. Arctic char thrive in environmentally-friendly fish farms. They grow quickly and healthily in self-contained pools or tanks that are separated from natural water sources. The most responsibly-grown Arctic char are raised in land-based flow through and recirculating systems, so ask at the grocery store to make sure that’s what you’re getting.


Farmed Catfish Sustainable Fish Option

Responsibly farmed catfish are tasty and clean. Farmed catfish from the United States are grown in controlled ponds and are fed a vegetarian-based diet. And since catfish farms stagger production throughout the year, farmed catfish is available year-round. It takes the fish 18 months to reach maturity. During that time, the water is continually monitored to ensure high quality and fish health. Choose catfish that has the place of origin listed, and double check with your fishmonger that it is farmed catfish. Wild catfish is actually a different species and is not as appetizing.

Choosing to eat responsibly farmed fish is one of the best ways you can help the global fish population while enjoying a delicious meal. Most of these fish should be available at your favorite grocery store. But if they don’t carry the fish you’re looking for, you can put in a special request.

If you’re unsure which of the fish at your local grocery store were raised or produced the most responsibly, be sure to ask your fishmonger. They should have plenty of information about which fish are the freshest, tastiest and raised in the most responsible way.

Photo credits: misolasop /, Matt Antonino /, Everything /, Charles Place /, Dezych /