Which Fish Are Okay To Eat?

Friday, June 24th, 2011

Over-exploitation. Destructive fishing techniques. Polluting fish farms. If you want to eat ethically, which fish are actually fine for your fork?

My latest image for The Guardian Datablog pools and visualises the latest research from the Marine Conservation Society (PDF), Greenpeace and the SeaFood Watch.

» See the graphic
» See the data: http://www.bit.ly/whichfish
» Instantly download an A4 hi-res print for £1.50 ($2.50) (all profits go to the Marine Conservation Society)
» Download a free, pocket infosheet of this data for handy reference.

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Show Comments ( )

  • John

    Can you elaborate a little on a choice of colors? Why did you choose them?

  • Jim Bales

    Love the graphic — many thanks for this and all of the others on your site!

    One quibble — the graphic shows the American Lobster as a Pacific species, but it is actually an Atlantic species (it is the Maine Lobster).

    Jim Bales

    • John Irvine

      And the lobster is listed as “OK” under “Atlantic/Pacific” but “No” under “Pacific.”

      Otherwise a very useful cheat sheet.

  • Fiona Gilbert Riley

    Dear Mr McCandless,

    Many many thanks for this information, which is so valuable.

    Now, since if you don’t ask you don’t get, I am going to ask a major favour: if this were possible, could you let us know the LATIN names of those fish – this is so that I can translate your list into Spanish so that I can apply it in Spain where I live. It’s so tricky to work with the English terms because they can vary from area to area. I would then be more than happy to return the translated list to you so that you coud release the information in Spanish (and I am sure I can find a fellow translator to vet my translation for certainty).

    Looking forward to hearing from you


    Fiona Gilbert
    Spanish-English translator
    Avila, Spain

  • http://ilovetoronto.com/ Heather

    I like the style of your graphic very much, however I am a bit confused by the colours as well. Nevertheless, I was searching for something exactly like this since I’ve discussed the issue with one of my neighbours, but I didn’t have any evidence then. I do now.

  • http://anjakrieger.com Anja

    That’s very useful, thanks for the visualization. I was looking for a German version and found one in http://www.bilderbuchdeswissens.de/buch.html – but it’s different from the one published in the Guardian. For example, there are only two kind of farmed fish the German version shows as not ok to eat, while there are seven in the Guardian. How come? Is the German one older than the English version? Or are the two versions based on different data sources?

    • http://anjakrieger.com Anja

      Tried to figure it out, but the dates keep confusing me: The infographic on Guardian is dated “June 2010″, though it’s a recent post and the fishlist-PDF is from January 2011. Also, does the tab “layout 2010″ in the spreadsheet include the 2011 data?

    • miriam

      Hi Anja,

      Thanks for your comments! Yes, the German version is based on older data, from 2008. We revised the graphic with the latest data from 2010 and 2011 for the Guardian graphic. I’ve renamed the relevant tabs on the source sheet ’2010-11′ and ’2010-11 layout’ to make that clearer: http://www.bit.ly/whichfish. The year is indeed wrong on the Guardian graphic – it should read ‘June 2011′. Sorry for the confusion!

      Researcher, Information is Beautiful

  • David Short

    Very nice information ! seems like i will avoid tuna .. Glad to see there is oyster in your list, that’s my favorite, rich in iron, b12 and zinc .

    David Short

  • Max Mcbrayer

    yes, avoid the tuna and oyster they’re heavily poisoned.