Every restaurant should brag about serving sustainable seafood

Sharky's Sustainable Seafood

Sharky’s sustainable seafood black board

This past weekend my husband and I went on a quick trip to see the elephant seals near San Simeon, CA (more on that in future posts). On the way back we made a quick stop to grab some dinner at Sharky’s Woodfired Mexican Grill in Camarillo. It’s a chain in Southern California that offers organic and healthy options for those craving Mexican fare at reasonable prices, most menu items average around 10 bucks.

Behind the registers, they had a big black board highlighting their sustainable seafood choices. This included bragging rights that they look for MSC-certified seafood and fish that are on Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch “best choices” or “good alternatives” lists.

This got me thinking…every restaurant that serves sustainable seafood should have a big sign like that. Or if they want to take a subtler approach, then their seafood menu items should be highlighted with a symbol that indicates it’s sustainable because consumers want to know!

Many restaurants are doing their part to save the oceans from overfishing, but it’s not always clear. If it isn’t, then ask. Pull out your Seafood Watch card or download the app and start the conversation, “Do you know if this fish is sustainable?” And together with the server go through the list. If it turns out they don’t have any sustainable seafood options, order something else on the menu. At least now they know you’re watching, you’re concerned and you’re making smart choices.

Then the next time you dine out, go to a different restaurant and start the same conversation. This is how change begins.


  1. says

    I completely agree that all restaurants should advertise sustainable seafood. I grew up near the ocean so seafood was the norm in my family, but I never really thought before if it was MSC-certified. Next time I go to a seafood restaurant, I am guaranteed to ask them if it is sustainable. Thanks for the great thought!

    • Carolyn Kraft says

      Hi Annie, Thanks for the comment! Does the Oyster Bar 316 serve sustainable seafood? It’s not clear or obvious on the website.

  2. says

    This is a great idea! Like you said, people really do want to know which types of seafood are sustainable, and which aren’t. After all, we want to be able to enjoy this type of cuisine for a very long time, and moving towards sustainable options will help ensure that. Plus, I imagine that the more common fish are cheaper for restaurants, too!

  3. says

    I love the idea of really broadcasting what seafood is sustainable. A lot of restaurants serve sustainable seafood already and could benefit from some positive exposure. Responsibly sourced food is always worth talking about.

  4. says

    I am a pretty avid boxer and each quite a bit of seafood for my diet. I agree with you 100% when you say that all restaurants should be proud of serving sustainable seafood. I know I’ll make sure to let restaurants know when I go out!

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