Every year, the Monterey Bay Aquarium does its part to save the world's marine life by putting out their Seafood Watch guides - basically a handy list of recommended seafood based on which species are abundant or "caught or farmed in environmentally friendly ways." Of course, along with the recommendations of which fish orders will make you feel content in your earthiness, is a list of fish to avoid - those species that are overfished or caught in a manner that might hurt Mother Ocean herself.
Meanwhile in Boston, the AP reports that some ornery seafood purveyors are planning a defiant dining experience in which they will serve up a couple of the fish from the Aquarium's "Avoid" list. Roger Berkowitz, owner of the Boston-based Legal Sea Foods, says the Seafood Watch guides have "brainwashed" the masses and turned off consumers to species like Atlantic cod and tiger shrimp which will be on the menu for a special January 24th dinner at his restaurant.
According to the Aquarium, the cod is trawl-caught with gear that damages the sea floor, but Berkowitz argues that guides like Seafood Watch have "no scientific basis" and only intimidate buyers. An Aquarium spokesperson begs to differ, insisting the guides are "grounded in good science." The printable, pocket-sized guide also says it provides "science-based recommendations" right there at the top, so you be the judge.