Seafood Watch - Seafood Guide

Pollock, Atlantic

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SEAFOODRATINGMARKET NAMESLOCATION/CERTIFICATIONHOW CAUGHT/FARMED
Pollock Good Alternative: These are good alternatives to the best choices column. There are some concerns with how they are fished or farmed – or with the health of their habitats due to other human impacts. Boston Bluefish, Blue Cod, Blue Coalfish, Coley, Imitation Crab, Kanikama, Saithe, Snapper, Surimi Marine Stewardship Council Certified Wild
Pollock, Alaska Good Alternative: These are good alternatives to the best choices column. There are some concerns with how they are fished or farmed – or with the health of their habitats due to other human impacts. Imitation Crab, Kanikama, Surimi Alaska Wild
Pollock, Atlantic Avoid: Avoid these products for now. These fish come from sources that are overfished or fished or farmed in ways that harm the environment. Boston Bluefish, Blue Cod, Blue Snapper, Coalfish, Coley, Saithe Iceland Danish Seine, Trawl
Pollock, Atlantic Good Alternative: These are good alternatives to the best choices column. There are some concerns with how they are fished or farmed – or with the health of their habitats due to other human impacts. Boston Bluefish, Blue Cod, Blue Snapper, Coalfish, Coley, Saithe Norway Danish Seine, Trawl
Pollock, Atlantic Good Alternative: These are good alternatives to the best choices column. There are some concerns with how they are fished or farmed – or with the health of their habitats due to other human impacts. Boston Bluefish, Blue Cod, Blue Snapper, Coalfish, Coley, Saithe Iceland Set Gillnet
Pollock, Atlantic Good Alternative: These are good alternatives to the best choices column. There are some concerns with how they are fished or farmed – or with the health of their habitats due to other human impacts. Boston Bluefish, Blue Cod, Blue Snapper, Coalfish, Coley, Saithe Canada Wild
Pollock, Atlantic Best Choice: These fish are abundant, well managed and fished or farmed in environmentally friendly ways. Boston Bluefish, Blue Cod, Blue Snapper, Coalfish, Coley, Saithe Norway Gillnet, Purse Seine
Pollock, Atlantic Good Alternative: These are good alternatives to the best choices column. There are some concerns with how they are fished or farmed – or with the health of their habitats due to other human impacts. Boston Bluefish, Blue Cod, Blue Snapper, Coalfish, Coley, Saithe U.S. Atlantic Wild


Atlantic Pollock, Wild

Atlantic Pollock from the U.S. and Canada both have abundant populations but are caught using gear that impacts the seafloor or other marine life - a concern that results in a "Good Alternatives" rating. Atlantic pollock imported from other countries can also be found in the U.S. market. Atlantic pollock from Norway caught with purse seine or gillnet are "Best Choices." Some, however, are rated "Avoid" so it's important to know where and how the fish was caught in order to make a sustainable choice.

Consumer Note

Approximately half of the Atlantic pollock available on the U.S. market are from the New England region, while the remainder is imported from Canada and Germany.

Summary

Atlantic pollock is found throughout the North Atlantic. It grows quickly and matures at a young age, traits that make it resilient to fishing pressure. A bottom-dwelling fish similar to cod, Atlantic pollock is an important fishery in the U.S., and is also imported from Canada, Norway and Iceland.

In Canada, Atlantic pollock was historically overfished, but is now recovering. In the U.S. and Norway, Atlantic pollock is abundant and the fisheries are well-managed. In Iceland, however, overfishing of Atlantic pollock continues.

Atlantic pollock is fished primarily with bottom trawls, Danish seines and bottom gillnets - three methods with high environmental impacts. Bottom trawls and Danish seines can damage seafloor habitats, while bottom gillnets may result in high bycatch of marine mammals, including endangered or threatened species. Less destructive fishing methods are available, such as purse seines that are used in a small Norwegian fishery.

Consumers should look for Atlantic pollock from Norway caught with purse seine or gillnet as the "Best Choice." Atlantic pollock from the U.S. and Canada is a "Good Alternative" because while their populations are abundant, the fishery uses habitat damaging trawl gear. Atlantic pollock from smaller fisheries are also available, including the gillnet fishery in Iceland, and the bottom trawl and Danish seine fisheries in Norway - both "Good Alternatives." Consumers should "Avoid" Atlantic pollock from Iceland caught with bottom trawls or Danish seines due to low population abundance and severe habitat impacts.


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How fish are caught or farmed makes a difference. Fishing boat