Seafood Watch - Seafood Guide

Arctic Char

© B. Guild Gillespie/
Arctic Char Best Choice: These fish are abundant, well managed and fished or farmed in environmentally friendly ways. Arctic & Alpine Char, Iwana U.S., Canada, Norway, Iceland Farmed in Recirculating Systems

Arctic Char, Farmed in Recirculating Systems

Arctic char raised in recirculating systems are a "Best Choice" because these systems have minor environmental impacts.

Consumer Note

Although Arctic char is fished both commercially and by recreational fishermen, most Arctic char sold in the U.S. is farmed. Arctic char is sold as whole dressed fish or steak, and smoked or canned. It is known as iwana when prepared for sushi.


Most Arctic char is farmed in land-based, closed systems and so there is a low risk of pollution and habitat effects. Closed systems - particularly recirculating systems - treat their wastewater.

There is only a minor risk associated with escapes of farmed Arctic char to the wild and in some operations only sterile fish are raised and would therefore not be able to breed with wild Arctic char if they did escape.

This combination of factors results in a recommendation of "Best Choice."

Scientific Reports About Our Ratings
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How fish are caught or farmed makes a difference. Fishing boat