Remember when Chilean Sea Bass was the hot new entrée on just about every seafood restaurant's menu? Well, apparently you do because demand for the CSB grew so voracious that they have been overfished almost to the point of extinction. And did you know that in most cases you could substitute Black Cod for your Sea Bass in a dish without changing the dining experience dramatically? That's with the codicil that it's more ecologically sound to use Alaskan Black Cod instead of Californian Black Cod.
Of course you didn't know all that. Who could? Fortunately now thanks to the cooperation of the ichthyologists at the Monterey Bay Aquarium and the imagineers of Apple, you can have all of this information as close as your iPhone.
With the new Seafood Watch app from iTunes you can check out your seafood choices in restaurants or at your local fishmonger to ensure you're making the socially responsible choice. (Though, to be fair, I usually expect that to be part of the "monging" process."
According to the Monterey Bay Aquarium website:
Our new iPhone application brings the latest Seafood Watch recommendations directly to your iPhone or iPod touch. Now you can make sustainable seafood choices quickly and easily--whether you're eating at your favorite restaurant or shopping for dinner. And at a time when the world's oceans are severely overfished, your seafood choices make a big difference.
Ongoing access to current fish counts allow Seafood Watch to update the status of various species seasonally as often as you update your iPhone. There's even a sushi guide that will help convert traditional Japanese names to more common restaurantese. I'm guessing it'll be stumped by the "Nashville Roll," though. Luckily, catfish is nowhere to be found on the endangered list.
Best of all, it's free. If you've been looking for a reason to go get that brand spankin' new 3Gs iPhone, it's waiting for you at iTunes. Charlie the Tuna will thank you.