Seafood Watch Launches Android App to Boost Sustainable Seafood Consumption

The Monterey Bay guide to sustainable seafood is a great resource to figure out the most sustainable seafood species to eat. However it is still a pocket-guide and like most things, you tend not to have it on you when you most need it. No worries anymore because in addition to an iPhone app that was launched last year, the Seafood Watch guide is now available for Android users.

So imagine you are eating out and are unsure whether menu choices are sustainable or not. Or you are at the supermarket and you don't know what to buy. Using this application on your phone, you can have all the information about sustainable seafood right with you.

The application allows users to search by fish or seafood name to see whether it is ranked as a "best choice," "good alternative," or "avoid" depending on how sustainably caught or farmed it is. It even contains different names for the fish. If you are eating sushi, you can also put in the Japanese names for what you fancy to get information on where it comes from and how it is farmed or fished. This list also includes includes information for the various kinds of tuna and what to avoid.

The latest addition to the app is Project FishMap which is a "crowdsourced effort to help people find ocean-friendly seafood, no matter where they live." People can tag restaurants and markets across the United States when they find ocean-friendly seafood. This is an easy way to search for sustainable sushi bars or seafood restaurants near you. You can also share your knowledge of sustainable seafood restaurants and markets to increase the database. “With Project FishMap, anyone who buys sustainable seafood can now share their discoveries via the Android app,” says Sheila Bowman, senior outreach manager for the Seafood Watch program.

The Seafood Watch guide has changed the way that people think about sustainable seafood. It has become a very useful tool in making the right choice. Like other mobile phone apps aimed towards ethical consumption, this app also can make waves with many people.

Since Project FishMap was added to the popular iPhone app in December 2010, more than 1,200 individuals have logged over 2,100 seafood recommendations from over 400 cities. The Seafood Watch app is also available free for the iPhone and iPod Touch, and has been downloaded over 585,000 times since its debut in 2009. So here's to hoping for the same kind of success for their Android app as well.

Photo: Project FishMap iPhone App