Under The Label: Sustainable Seafood As many of the Earth's fisheries are being depleted, while others are in danger of collapsing, supermarket chains from Whole Foods to Wal-Mart say they're hoping to help counter the crisis: by buying "certified sustainable seafood," that comes with higher labels – and higher prices. NPR examines how the system works, how it defines "sustainable," and whether consumers can feel confident that they're helping the planet when making their purchase.

Swordfish from Canada are marked with a label from the Marine Stewardship Council at a Whole Foods in Washington, D.C. The MSC says its label means the fish were caught by a sustainable fishery, but critics says it's not always so clear. Margot Williams/NPR hide caption

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Margot Williams/NPR

A sockeye salmon that was caught from the research vessel Miss Delta off the coast of Vancouver is examined. The MSC has certified the fish as "sustainable" even though there is concern from scientists and environmentalists. Brett Beadle for NPR hide caption

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Brett Beadle for NPR

Conditions Allow For More Sustainable-Labeled Seafood

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Dennis Roseman, left, and Jamie Manganello pull in a swordfish off the coast of Florida. The Day Boat Seafood company went through a complicated process to become certified as a sustainable fishery by the Marine Stewardship Council. Chip Litherland for NPR hide caption

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Chip Litherland for NPR

For A Florida Fishery, 'Sustainable' Success After Complex Process

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Capt. Art Gaeten holds a blue shark that was caught during a research trip in Nova Scotia. Scientists are studying the impact of swordfish fishing methods on the shark population. Dean Casavechia for NPR hide caption

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Dean Casavechia for NPR

Is Sustainable-Labeled Seafood Really Sustainable?

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