SAN FRANCISCO (CBS/AP) — Twenty-one species of fish made the leap Tuesday off a watch list of seafood to avoid as unsustainably overfished, leaving conservationists and many fishermen and chefs celebrating the turnaround of a West Coast fishing ground declared an economic disaster area by the federal government just 14 years ago.
The Monterey Bay Aquarium upgraded the 21 species of West Coast bottom-dwelling fish known as groundfish — including rockfish, sablefish, and other workhorses of the white-fish seafood fillet market — from its “avoid” category on the Seafood Watch list, meaning the food industry and consumers now should feel free to sell and eat those fish without guilt.
The declaration marks a rebound from 2000, when commercial overfishing of ground fish off California, Oregon and Washington had depleted those and other species so badly as to earn a government designation of an economic disaster.
The related federal cut in the…
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