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Top Chef Masters Contestant Rick Moonen Gets Serious About Sustainable Seafood

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Sustainable seafood is a hot topic these days, not only thanks to the Gulf oil spill, but also because we’ve made a habit of overfishing our oceans. The result of this live-for-today mentality is a significant decline in fish stocks in species such as tuna, shark and whale. And when you add a 40% drop in phytoplankton to the mix, all signs point to the eventual collapse of our oceans’ food chain.

In the past, high profile chefs like Alton Brown, Rick Bayless and Mario Batali have touted the benefits of serving sustainable seafood — some going as far as to sign Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch Pledge. Now, Bravo’s Top Chef Masters runner-up Rick Moonen is speaking out.

Moonen says that we consume a relatively limited selection of species, which he calls the Big Five (salmon, tuna, cod, snapper and bass). These species, Moonen predicts, are in danger of becoming extinct in roughly 38 years if we don’t begin to explore “Non-Targeted Edible Wild Biomass,” which include Floridian Wreckfish, Cobia, Wahoo, Drumfish, Sea Cats, Wolf Fish, Tautog and Wrasse.

He suggests that these rarely heard species merely suffer from bad names, and that with better marketing, education and skilled culinary preparation, they can take the burden off of traditional varieties.

Want to learn more about the fish you eat? Consult the Natural Resource Defense Council’s Sustainable Seafood Guide and see if your favorite restaurant has been reviewed by Fish2Fork.

Via Las Vegas Weekly

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