Name That App: Seafood Watch

**As published in digiday:DAILY** Publisher: Monterey Bay Aquarium Price: free Platform: iOS Advertising: None Functionality: B Fun Factor: B- Overall: B Maybe you’ve watched “The Cove” like I have, and have been inspired to be a little less apathetic when it comes to the seafood you eat and buy. Or maybe you just want to be more aware of the chemicals and antibiotics that could be lurking behind your next bite of fish. Either way, Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch is a great place to start.

Described as a “sustainable seafood guide,” the app is simple and effective enough to incorporate into your regular shopping or dining out routine. Once users select their region, the app will build two guides: one for seafood and one for sushi. Within each group there are three categories: “best choice,” “good alternative” and “avoid.” It’s all very simple and to the point. Users can organize their list of seafood or sushi choices alphabetically or by the ratings given for each by the Marine Stewardship Council. Take Tuna for example, a favorite among sushi and seafood fans. There are 17 different listings for Tuna and the ratings range from good to bad. Maybe shrimp is more your thing. In that case, you might like to know that imported shrimp, whether it’s farmed or wild caught, should be avoided. Shrimp from the Gulf of Mexico, South Atlantic and Canadian Atlantic are good alternatives while pink shrimp from Oregon is the best choice. It’s both discouraging and enlightening to have all of this information so readily available. As a pescetarian, or someone that excludes all land-based animals from their diet, this app is a great resource. But I think the app provides value for anyone that eats seafood. And for those that adhere to a traditional vegetarian diet, the information in this app might help remind you why you decided to not eat seafood in the first place. Seafood Watch does a great job of presenting all of the relevant information about our seafood choices in a easy-to-navigate app with snippets and more detail on each fish type. But it would be cool to see the idea expanded a little bit with recipes that might round out the push for sustainability and perhaps even a location aware feature that would let users know what types of seafood are in season and in bountiful supply – thereby closing the loop on eating locally and sustainably.

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