This year we've devoted most of the main room of The Naturalist's Notebook to oceans. We have a whole wall that shows types of fish, where they're caught and whether they are a good or bad choice to eat. That last judgment combines ratings done separately by the New York-based Blue Ocean Institute and the California-based Monterey Bay Aquarium. The ratings take into account how depleted a type of fish is, how destructive the methods of catching it are (i.e., are large numbers of other species of fish, as well as birds, sea turtles and other ocean-dependent life, killed as unwanted by-catch?) and how toxic the fish is (some have enough PCBs or mercury to make them a health risk to children and expectant mothers).
We're therefore thrilled to have gotten an e-mail from the Blue Ocean Institute today announcing that Whole Foods will start using the institute's color-coded system in displaying the store's seafood. Congratulations to Whole Foods on setting a great example for all grocery stores. Here is a link to a story about the announcement and the seafood ratings: