Snapper, Red: U.S.
(U.S. South Atlantic, Wild-caught)
Red snapper from the South Atlantic have declined from excessive fishing pressure, and remains on our "Avoid" list.
Mule, Sow, Rat, Tai, American Red Snapper, Northern Red Snapper
Buyer beware! West Coast rockfishes are often sold as Pacific red snapper. "True" red snapper for this recommendation belong to the family Lutjanidae in the western Atlantic. They can be imported from other countries, and often are referred to just as "snapper." However, many varieties of snapper exist and each carries a different recommendation so make sure to ask the fish's origin. Red snapper is known as tai when prepared for sushi, though several other species including tilapia, red sea bream and red porgy are also marketed as tai.
"True" red snapper, which range from Massachusetts to Mexico, is a very important snapper species caught in the U.S, along with vermilion and yellowtail. Mislabeling red snapper in the market is common. The red snapper population in the South Atlantic is managed separately from the Gulf of Mexico stock, which has a separate Seafood Watch® ranking.
Although management strategies are in place, the U.S. has not been able to prevent significant population declines of red snapper in the South Atlantic since the 1980s. Managers closed the fishery in recent years, and tried experimental openings, but this population has not yet recovered to levels that managers consider healthy.
Commercial fishermen target snapper primarily with hook-and-line , and also catch vulnerable grouper species. To protect habitat and other vulnerable bycatch species from the effects of this fishery, managers implemented policies like gear restrictions and marine protected areas (MPAs).
Sablefish/black cod and striped bass are "Best Choices."