In San Francisco Magazine article, “The New School of Fish”, Erik Vance dives deep into the topic of sustainable seafood, exploring what some people are doing in support, but more so what a majority of people are not doing.

Vance tackles the subject comprehensively, teaming with well known Bay area seafood advocate Kenny Belov of Sausalito’s Fish, to take apart different restaurant menus.  Vance and Belov identify what is  okay to eat, i.e. what falls on the “Good Fish” list like halibut, squid, sardines and dungeness crab, and what people need to watch out for on the “Bad Fish” list.  As would be expected, the demonized bluefin tuna and Chilean seabass appeared on the “Bad Fish” list.  I was surprised to learn that fish like sturgeon, skate and monkfish were also included.

For a fish to end up on the “Good” or “Bad” fish list, Vance considers a variety of factors like fish reproduction, the harvesting process, the ocean impact and healthiness of the fish.  Vance also provides a comprehensive look at the different ways to harvest fish (rod and wheel, bottom trawler, long line, etc).

The mention of public agitation and hesitation to embrace Belov’s rigid approach to sustainable seafood stands out at the end of the article.  It appears that Belov is well ahead of his time and it may take a bit longer for the rest of us to catch up and recognize an inevitable and looming environmental need.  For more full-blown details follow this LINK to the original article at San Francisco Magazine.

Anne Pao is a contributing food writer for SF  When she is not satisfying carnivorous tendencies, you can find her adventuring in the Bay area outdoors.  For more Pao reads check out her blog at