Finding a sustainable seafood dinner made easy
Tuesday, December 28, 2010
The Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch program has launched a new iPhone app, Project FishMap, designed to help consumers tag and identify restaurants and markets across the United States when they find ocean-friendly seafood, contributing to a growing database of more than one million food vendors.
The Seafood Watch program, long known for offering guidance to consumers on choosing sustainable seafood options with small fold-up pocket guides, was hearing that “people are finding sustainable seafood choices no matter where they live or travel. Trying to put together a resource nationwide was rather overwhelming, so we thought we would crowd source this,” says Alison Barratt, Communications Manager for the Monterey Bay Aquarium.
Since Seafood Watch launched in 1999, the Aquarium has distributed more than 34 million pocket guides. Project FishMap already includes over one million restaurants, markets, and grocery stores nationwide.
The original Seafood Watch iPhone app, released in January 2009, has been downloaded by more than 325,000 people, and works like the pocket guide. The new, free app, is intended to make it easier for consumers to identify places to shop and eat that make sustainable seafood available and is interactive in that it allows users to tag restaurants.
Barratt says that future plans for the app include making reservations and identifying specific dishes for when, say, a barramundi mood strikes. Even in unlikely locations, says Barratt, “Chances are that there’s something sustainable. This is not about trying to find the perfect restaurant, it’s trying to find the perfect choices.”