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Aquarium's Updated iPhone App Puts Ocean-Friendly Seafood on the Map
Project FishMap lets users pinpoint sustainable seafood at restaurants and markets nationwide
The Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch program www.montereybayaquarium.org has long been the go-to source for consumers and businesses looking for ocean-friendly seafood.
Now the aquarium is literally putting sustainable seafood on the map.
Project FishMap, a newly launched feature of the aquarium’s award-winning Seafood Watch iPhone app, lets people tag any of more than one million restaurants and markets across the United States when they find ocean-friendly seafood.
Other iPhone users can then discover where peers have found sustainable seafood nationwide.
The newly updated Seafood Watch app can be downloaded – free – through the iTunes store. An Android version of the app will be released in 2011.
“We want people to have a resource so they can find ocean-friendly seafood, no matter where they live,” said Sheila Bowman, senior outreach manager for the Seafood Watch program. “This is a real community project for green living.”
“With Project FishMap, anyone who finds sustainable seafood can share their discoveries. Each time they do, they’re helping others make better seafood choices.”
Other key features of the updated app include:
• The ability for users to easily add restaurants and markets that sell sustainable seafood to the Seafood Watch iPhone database. Each time they add locations or seafood items, contributors can earn virtual badges (first restaurant in their city, first listing of a seafood item).
• Improved search functions that help people find seafood quickly and easily by its common market name or, in the case of sushi, by its Japanese name.
• Suggestions for sustainable seafood alternatives to items on the Seafood Watch “Avoid” list.
• A highlighted list of “Super Green” seafood that is heart-healthy, low in contaminants, and caught or farmed in ways that are good for the oceans.
The original Seafood Watch iPhone app, released in January 2009, has been downloaded by more than 325,000 people. It’s won awards from Treehugger.com as the “Best of Green in Food and Health” and is cited regularly as a trusted source for sustainable seafood information.
Since its debut in 1999, Seafood Watch has become the most influential consumer seafood selection tool in the United States. The Monterey Bay Aquarium www.montereybayaquarium.org has distributed more than 36 million Seafood Watch pocket guides to help individuals make seafood choices that preserve the health of ocean ecosystems.
In 2008, Bon Appétit Magazine named Monterey Bay Aquarium as its “Tastemaker of the Year,” because Seafood Watch www.montereybayaquarium.org/seafoodwatch has played such an influential role in transforming seafood buying habits across the United States.
Beyond influencing individual consumers, the aquarium has partnered with the two largest food service companies in North America – Compass Group and ARAMARK – which have made commitments to shift their purchase of millions of pounds of seafood annually to sustainable sources.
In September, Whole Foods Market began using recommendations from the aquarium’s Seafood Watch program and from the Blue Ocean Institute to label wild-caught seafood in its North American stores according to environmental sustainability criteria. Whole Foods also made a commitment to stop selling all red-list “Avoid” seafood before Earth Day 2013.
To learn more about Project FishMap, and to download the Seafood Watch iPhone app, visit www.montereybayaquarium.org/iphoneapp. Or browse the App Store on your iPhone or iPod touch and download the free, official app from the Monterey Bay Aquarium directly to your device.
The mission of the Monterey Bay Aquarium is to inspire conservation of the oceans.