Choosing seafood that is delicious, healthy and environmentally conscious can feel like a complicated affair.
As a consumer, the key to choosing seafood is to know which species are sustainable and safe to eat. According to Greenpeace, a particular seafood is sustainable "if it comes from a fishery with practices that can be maintained indefinitely without reducing the target species' ability to maintain its population and without adversely impacting other species within the ecosystem by removing their food source, accidentally killing them or damaging their physical environment."
Buying seafood from a reputable source and asking where and how the fish was caught is a good first step. Fish caught locally means that it has not been flown halfway around the world. However, it is not that simple when you crave fresh seafood and live in a landlocked area.
Like fruits and vegetables, there are seasons for wild species. According to the International Pacific Halibut Commission, the 2016 Pacific halibut season opened March 19 in Alaska and British Columbia, Canada, and will close on November 7. On the other side of the continent, due to its slow rate of population growth and poor recovery from overfishing, the wild Atlantic halibut fishery has collapsed. Consequently, wild fish labeled as "halibut" are usually the species from the Pacific Northwest.
Atlantic halibut is now being farmed in Canada, Iceland, the United Kingdom and Norway. However in 2010, Greenpeace International added the Atlantic halibut to its seafood red list, meaning "fish that are commonly sold in supermarkets around the world, which have a very high risk of being sourced from unsustainable fisheries." For this recipe, make sure to buy wild Pacific halibut, which is considered sustainable and is now in season.
- 2 5-ounce boneless Pacific wild halibut filets (about 1½-inch thick)
- 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
- Juice of ½ lemon
- 2 tablespoons whole-wheat breadcrumbs
- Pinch sea salt
- Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 2 tablespoons fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped
- Preheat oven to 375°F.
- In a large nonstick baking dish, add halibut, skin-side down and drizzle with olive oil.
- Evenly sprinkle with lemon juice. Then top with breadcrumbs and salt and pepper.
- Bake for 15 to 17 minutes, depending on thickness, or until halibut flakes easily when tested with a fork. Sprinkle with chopped parsley and serve with steamed vegetables and new potatoes. Serves 2.