Wild caught fish and seafood at boat offload
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How To Buy Wild Caught Seafood in Florida

The overall nutritional benefits of eating fresh, wild-caught seafood more often than not exceed those from farm-raised fish. “More often than not” is actually a huge understatement. There are very few circumstances that would yield to farm-raised fish having more health benefits than wild-caught seafood. Only when farm-raised fish are produced with the most ethical of standards (less than 1% of total worldwide production) are compared to wild-caught fish sourced from an area incurring some type of disaster (large oil-spill for instance) would the farm-raised yield some higher nutritional benefit than wild-caught.

This is because fish and shellfish caught in the wild live in better, healthier conditions with natural food sources. Many seafood lovers also attest that wild-caught fish and shellfish taste better and the meat is leaner. Wild-caught seafood also tends to have better color, making them great for creating an impressive presentation. Then again, farmers often use color dye to help their products ‘look’ more like their wild alternatives.

Of course, most people prefer wild-caught seafood over farm-raised. But, how can you be sure that what you’re buying is really from the wild and not just mislabeled? Here are some tips that can help you ensure that you’re always buying authentic, wild-caught seafood:

Shop Local

As much as possible, go to your local seafood market to find the freshest, wild-caught seafood. You can physically see and inspect the products you are buying. Just make sure that you are buying from a real seafood supplier and not from a grocery store or reseller, with the exception of advanced, trustworthy tags on fish such as the Gulf Wild tag.  

Buying direct from a trusted supplier will help you avoid fish frauds and mislabeling. Also, most grocery stores selling seafood will have marked-up prices and there is a high chance that the supply won’t be as fresh.

Look for the Gulf Wild Tracking Tag

One sure way to assure you are buying authentic, wild-caught seafood is by checking to see if the fish has the Gulf Wild tracking tag. This tag lets consumers track the fish they are buying – from the boats they were sourced to the offload dock and any resellers in-between. Each fish caught and sold will have a scannable QR code and a traceable identification number.

Gulf Wild is a conservation-focused organization with programs to ensure the preservation and long-term viability of fish species within the Gulf of Mexico. They also established a catch-share program where incentives are offered to fishermen in support of harvesting fish using sustainable and responsible methods.

Educate Yourself on Sustainable Fishing Practices

As a consumer, you need to be more informed of sustainable fishing practices. Since there is no universal way of labeling seafood in grocery stores and restaurants, you’ll often need to perform your own due diligence when buying fish or shellfish. Asking the right questions is a great start.

Ask the vendor or restaurant owner which country the seafood came from and whether they are farm-raised or wild-caught.

Beware of Fish Frauds

If you think the price is too good to be true, you may be right. We cannot legally go into detail here, but just know that much link in any industry, there’s always a ‘knock off’ version for any high-value fish species. Most of the fraudulent snapper and grouper, farm-raised fish being sold as “wild-caught” comes from overseas and will be found at smaller groceries with fewer requirements for proof of origin.

Buy from WildSeafoodMarket.com

One way to ensure you’re buying wild-caught seafood is to buy from Wild Seafood Market. You can visit our online shop and select from a wide array of fresh, wild-caught, locally sourced fish and shellfish. We are the supplier!

Our mission is to provide sustainably sourced and fresh fish to environmentally conscious consumers. And we assure all our customers that our fish and shellfish supplies are always harvested sustainably. We adhere to local and federal regulations as well as use integrated traceable fish tags so our customers can see exactly where their fish came from. 

Related Resources

Choosing wild-caught fish for dinner over farm-raised is one of the most impactful choices to make, however, if you’re in the USA, you may also want to learn about why choosing U.S. sourced seafood is important. Why Choose Wild Caught, USA Sourced Fish?

When it comes to cooking the best-tasting fish dish this side of the equator, you may want to fully grasp the difference; Ordering Whole Fish vs Fillets.

Ordering seafood online can seem like a daunting task. Wild Seafood Market is here to help: How To Order Seafood & Fresh Fish Online.

If sustainable fishing is important to you; How Can I Support Sustainable Fishing?

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