Under The Label: Sustainable SeafoodAs 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.
Under The Label: Sustainable Seafood
Can consumers feel confident they're helping the oceans when buying "certified sustainable" fish?
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
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
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
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.