(Danish Seine and Trawl from Iceland)
Atlantic Pollock from the United States and Canada both have abundant populations but are caught using gear that impacts the seafloor or other marine life - a concern that results in a "Good Alternatives" ranking. Atlantic pollock imported from other countries can also be found in the U.S. market. Atlantic pollock from Norway caught with purse seine or gillnet are "Best Choices." Some, however, are rated "Avoid" so it's important to know where and how the fish was caught in order to make a sustainable choice.
The Norwegian North Sea and northeast Arctic Atlantic pollock fisheries are certified as sustainable to the standard of the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) .
Boston Bluefish, Blue Cod, Blue Snapper, Coalfish, Coley, Saithe
In the U.S., consumers can purchase both Atlantic and Alaska pollock. Despite the similar names, these are separate species with very different tastes and uses in the kitchen.
Atlantic pollock is found throughout the North Atlantic. It grows quickly and matures at a young age, traits that make it resilient to fishing pressure. A bottom-dwelling fish similar to cod, Atlantic pollock is an important fishery in the U.S., and is also imported from Canada, Norway and Iceland.
In the U.S. and Norway, Atlantic pollock is abundant and the fisheries are well-managed. In Canada, Atlantic pollock was historically overfished, but is now recovering. In Iceland, however, overfishing of Atlantic pollock continues.
Atlantic pollock is fished primarily with bottom trawls, Danish seines and bottom gillnets - three methods with high environmental impacts. Bottom trawls and Danish seines can damage seafloor habitats, while bottom gillnets may result in high bycatch of marine mammals, including endangered or threatened species. Less destructive fishing methods are available, such as purse seines that are used in a small Norwegian fishery.
Consumers should look for Atlantic pollock from Norway caught with purse seine or gillnet as the "Best Choice." Atlantic pollock from the U.S. and Canada is a "Good Alternative" because while their populations are abundant, the fishery uses habitat damaging trawl gear. Atlantic pollock from smaller fisheries are also available, including the gillnet fishery in Iceland, and the bottom trawl and Danish seine fisheries in Norway - both "Good Alternatives." Consumers should "Avoid" Atlantic pollock from Iceland caught with bottom trawls or Danish seines due to low population abundance and severe habitat impacts.