Oceans of Crime

Oceans of Crime: What you can do

Illegal fishing raises ethical questions about seafood consumption. It's important to be able to eat what you want without condoning irresponsible practices, so we've put together a list of ways you can find information, shop certified products, and get involved.
As always, we recommend that you do your own research before making any donations.

Get Informed

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Fisheries (government)

NOAA Fisheries operates under the US Department of Commerce and allows you to learn about fish species, read published research articles, and apply for fishing permits.

The Safina Center (nonprofit)

The Safina Center provides concise answers to FAQs on their website, which is a good place to start if you are unsure how to shift your consumer habits.

Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch (nonprofit)

The Seafood Watch program makes recommendations in three categories: best choices, good alternatives, and seafood to avoid. They have a downloadable app and comprehensive recommendation guides for each state.

Fish Watch (government)

Fish Watch is a government database that allows you to search different types of fish and get up-to-date information about population count and health benefits. It also has some basic recommendations for buying and handling seafood in the United States.

Food Alliance – Shellfish Farms (nonprofit)

Food Alliance, a non-profit organization, has comprehensive guides to shellfish farms and recommendations for shellfish, including oysters, clams, mussels, and geoducks.

Fish Choice (nonprofit)

Fish Choice is an online platform with seafood guides, newsletters, and other industry resources.

Global Fishing Watch (nonprofit)

This interactive map allows you to track fishing vessels around the world in near real-time. Global Fishing Watch's algorithm incorporates speed, heading, and movement pattern from satellites to gather reliable data on commercial fishing. You can gather information about specific fishing vessels that appear on the map and also visualize how their fishing patterns have changed over time using the timeline bar on the bottom. To learn more about Global Fishing Watch and their transparency-drive initiatives, visit the website: http://globalfishingwatch.org/

Shop Certified

The Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) (nonprofit)

The ASC is an international non-profit that certifies and labels responsibly farmed seafood. You can use their website to locate ASC-certified products in stores and support their labelling process.

Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) (nonprofit)

Similar to the ASC, the Marine Stewardship Council is a certification program for seafood that allows you to track fisheries, stores, and universities that promote safe practices in your area.

U.S. Seafood Inspection Program (government)

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration runs a program to inspect and certify seafood products.

Get Involved

Conservation International

Conservation International supports a variety of environmental projects around the world and is attempting to shift fisheries from overexploitation to sustainability. You can view and contribute to the ongoing projects featured on their website.

Benioff Ocean Initiative (University of California Santa Barbara)

The Benioff Ocean Initiative is an experimental lab that gathers scientists and ocean experts to solve problems posed by the general public. You are encouraged to contribute on their website if you have any environmental concerns about the ocean.

Food & Water Watch (nongovernmental organization – NGO)

Food & Water Watch is an activist organization that participates in a variety of healthy food campaigns and has a comprehensive seafood guide on their website.

Global Aquaculture Alliance (nonprofit)

If you're looking to attend conferences and network with seafood professionals about safe aquaculture practices, the Global Aquaculture Alliance offers events for members of their organization. Their website also offers free online courses and a series of short films.

CNBC investigates the global fishing industry, and exposes the little-known and sometimes shocking means by which seafood arrives at our grocery stores and on our dinner plates. "Oceans of Crime" premieres Saturday, February 17 at 8pm ET/PT.