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Sustainable sushi guide in your pocket

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By Jessica Wong, CBCNews.ca

The SeaChoice folks are unveiling another free, wallet-sized tool to help Canadians — this time for sushi fans — make more sustainable dining decisions.

The group, a cross-Canada initiative run by leading environmental organizations, will officially launch its new sustainable sushi guide at restaurants in Vancouver and Halifax on Thursday. (It can also be downloaded or ordered online).

Over the past few years, I've found the group's pocket-friendly seafood guide mighty handy when I have to hit up a supermarket instead of my regular fishmonger (whom I can ask questions about the provenance of his product). The little fold-up card delivers valuable guidance and, for those who want more, there's an in-depth, searchable seafood database online.

As an avid sushi fan, I'm thrilled about this latest addition.

I admit that I don't always make the most eco-minded dining choices (still feeling somewhat chastised for the recent shark-fin soup, ahem), but having portable information like this does make more ethical eating somewhat easier to do.

However, there are a few interesting points to consider. How many sushi purveyors will actually adopt these guidelines — and how quickly? It's tough to imagine low-budget, lunchtime operations cutting out cheaper ingredients like farmed salmon.

Alternately, how many eaters will be willing to give up unagi (eel) or other to-be-avoided favourites?

For me, the next time that sushi craving hits, I guess I'll step away from the toro (bluefin tuna), go easy on the sake (salmon) and indulge in some gindara (Black Cod).

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