What do you know about the fish in your dish? The marine biology class seeks to inform people about the sustainability of the seafood they are eating by rating various restaurants around the bay.
“[My goal] was for students to learn to be good consumers and to think about the seafood they’re buying because it really does have a direct impact on the ocean,” marine biology teacher Monica Ventrice said.
After being put into groups and assigned a town, students had to call restaurants that served seafood and question them about their seafood menu items. They asked restaurants various questions about the species of fish, methods of capture, whether it was farmed or not, the type of farming system, and more.
“It was stressful calling all of the restaurants. Going into the project I definitely thought people would be more willing to answer our questions. My group had to call almost 20 restaurants because some people were very disagreeable or didn’t give adequate information,” senior Olivia Biggs said.
After gathering the information, students used the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch website to determine whether the seafood was classified as “best choice,” “good alternative,” or “avoid.” There are many options for every specific seafood item, so depending on what method it’s caught from or what ocean it’s caught in could make it a great, sustainable option or something you should not eat.
“I thought all the restaurants were going to be ‘avoid,’ [but] most dishes were ‘good choice’ or ‘good alternative.’ […] The ratings were somewhat high,” senior Jessica
Behind every seafood dish, there is a story. In order to protect our oceans and supply of seafood, it is important to be informed of the sustainability of the seafood you are eating. To find out how to be better consumers around the Bay Area, check out the marine biology
“I think [the project] is still very relevant, because the fish are not reappearing,” Ventrice said.