Sustainable Seafood Is Everyone’s Business

The tails of two fish side by side
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From tacos to salads to stir-fries, seafood is a great choice. And demand for shrimp, lobster, crab, salmon, halibut and tuna are growing. In a perfect world, we’d head out to the open waters and catch our own fish without disturbing the natural ecosystems that exists in the vast ocean. Since that’s not possible, it’s important to know how your seafood is caught or farmed and to choose varieties with the least environmental impact.

Unfortunately, fish populations are dwindling at alarming rates. According to the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch, 90 percent of the world’s fisheries are fully exploited, overexploited or have fully collapsed. Therefore, it’s imperative that we protect what we still have and cultivate fish that are good for both the planet and our health. Thus, making sustainable seafood choices is vital. There is a plethora of ocean-friendly seafood available, however you have to know the right questions to ask to your local fish monger, grocery store or restaurant owner.

How to Make a Good Seafood Choice

The number one question to ask before purchasing seafood, according to Seafood Watch, is, “Do you sell sustainable seafood?” The more we ask, the more the demand will go up. Check out Seafood Watch’s sustainable seafood guide to find the best choices in your area.

My new favorite sustainable seafood choice is cobia. Tweet this This highly sustainable fish is raised by Open Blue, a sustainable aquaculture system that farms fish in open waters. What I love about this system is that it takes place in the open ocean miles off shore to steer clear of harming delicate ecosystems, and disperses nutrients and waste to reduce disease risk.

But how does cobia taste? It’s a lightly colored, delicate fish with a melt-in-your-mouth texture. It doesn’t overpower the other flavors in the dish, but instead accents them. Plus, cobia is versatile. It’s sushi-grade, so you can eat it raw or cooked.

For the simple recipe below, I was inspired by the summer, which is the perfect time for seafood. I love to grill fish over cedar planks to give the dish that robust, woodsy flavor from the cedar.

Cedar Plank Cobia with Spicy Brussels Sprouts, Edamame and Zucchini Tweet this

Recipe by Vicki Shanta Retelny, RDN, LDN


  • ¼ cup low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • ¼ cup lemon juice
  • 3 tablespoons sesame oil, divided
  • 1 pound cobia
  • 2 cups Brussels sprouts, quartered
  • 1 cup edamame, shelled
  • 1 zucchini, sliced
  • 1 small shallot, diced
  • 1 small garlic clove, diced
  • 2 teaspoons sriracha hot sauce
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2 cedar planks, soaked in water for at least 20 minutes


  1. Mix soy sauce, honey, lemon juice and 1 tablespoon sesame oil in small bowl. Place cobia in a medium bowl and pour soy sauce mixture over. Cover and place marinating fish in the refrigerator for 1 hour.
  2. Heat grill to 350°F.
  3. Place Brussels sprouts, edamame, zucchini, shallot and garlic in a medium bowl. Drizzle with remaining 2 tablespoons sesame oil, sriracha and salt. Toss together. Place in a grill basket. Close the grill cover and cook vegetables until tender.
  4. Remove marinated fish from the refrigerator and place on soaked cedar planks. Put on the grill and cook for 15 to 20 minutes or until fish is golden brown and flaky.
  5. Remove fish from grill. Divide fish into four portions and serve with 1 cup of grilled vegetables. Serves 4.
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Vicki Shanta Retelny
Vicki Shanta Retelny, RDN, is a lifestyle nutrition expert, author, speaker, recipe and content creator based in Chicago. She blogs at Follow her on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.