The Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch app turned 10 this year, and this smartphone stalwart is still helping users make ocean-friendly decisions about seafood every day. While 10 years old seems ancient in the app universe, keep in mind that most cared-for apps get better with age. (Hello, Google Maps!) With more than 2 million downloads, people across the globe rely on the app to access Seafood Watch’s scientifically sound recommendations, which help them make seafood choices that support healthier oceans. In honor of National Seafood Month and the app’s 10th birthday (by the way, the Seafood Watch program itself is 20 this year!), here are 10 reasons why you should be using this fabulous (and free!) app on your smartphone.
10 — We’ll say it again: The app is free! All you have to do is download it. (And the swirl of sardines that swim when you launch the app is mighty soothing, isn’t it?)
9 — First time you’ve seen chilipepper rockfish on a menu? Can’t remember what exact species unagi is? It’s easy to search for a particular species or a market name, including common terms for sushi.
8 — Rankings are organized into simple green (“Best Choice”), yellow (“Good Alternative”), and red (“Avoid”) categories, so it’s easy to understand at a glance how a certain seafood measures up environmentally.
7 — Feeling overwhelmed at the fish counter? Scroll to browse different species and see how your favorite types of seafood rank. (Please be green, please be green…)
6 — Geolocation features mean you can find sources of sustainable seafood (like restaurants and markets) close to you, no matter where you are.
5 — New recommendations are added or updated in the app almost every month. Seafood Watch is constantly working to update existing rankings based on emerging science, so information is always current.
4 — Take a deeper dive into Seafood Watch’s news and scientific processes through the “What’s New” portal, or just stick to the surface and search the recommendations.
3 — Befuddled by terms like bottom trawling and bycatch? A glossary smooths out the rough waters of confusion.
2 — Did you take the plunge and buy a new type of sustainable seafood at the market? (Good for you!) Easy links to the Seafood Watch website lead you to recipes, detailed (really detailed) scientific reports, and more. Who doesn’t love recipes? (Or scientific reports!)
1 — Seafood Watch recommendations are peer-reviewed and recognized around the globe as scientifically sound, so you know the information is trustworthy.