The Best Seafood in the World
Top Destinations for Seafood Lovers
If you’re the type of traveler that seeks out beach destinations more for the fresh seafood than the tanning, this one is for you. Every coast-hugging country has developed its own mouthwatering ways to cook fresh seafood, but not all of them have figured out how to do it sustainably.
Fresh fish, garlicky mussels, oceanfront oysters… no matter which sea critters you prefer, you’re bound to find new favorites on the road. High in vitamins, minerals, and protein, but low in fat and overall calories, seafood is one of the healthiest subsections of the Food Pyramid.
But there’s a dark side to the seafood industry.
“85 percent of the world’s fisheries are either fully exploited or overfished.”–World Wildlife Fund
That’s why we prefer our seafood to be both delicious and sustainable.
These destinations are our favorites because of the delicious ocean delicacies, sure. But we also love them because they engage in sustainable fishing practices.
Great food + Ethical sourcing = Happy seafood-loving travelers.
Check out where to go for the Best Seafood in the World:
- Paradise Coast, Florida
- New England
- Belizean Cayes
On the federal level in Norway, strict sustainability laws have been in place for fishermen since the 80s. Fishermen cannot make a profit on any fish caught outside of their quotas. The laws in place are aimed to prevent food waste at large. For fishermen, that means regulations on the methods they use to catch fish. These methods spare undersized fish and minimize un-needed by-catch.
Plus, Norwegian smoked salmon is about as good as it gets. Be sure to visit the Bergen fish market to really get a feel for the abundance of fresh seafood that can be found off the coast of Norway.
“Skrei”, or spawning cod, is a local favorite. They must be fully grown and can only be line-caught by small local fishing boats.
Roundtrip Flights to Norway can be found for as little as $253! (Prices valid as of November 2019)
#2. Paradise Coast, Florida
Perhaps the most sustainable seafood of all — and definitely one of the most delicious — is the stone crab. The Gulf Coast of Florida is the biggest producer of this delicacy in the world.
Why is it so sustainable? No Stone Crabs were killed in the making of your meal. That’s right. Zero crab death. Fishermen simply catch the crabs, take one of their claws, and put them back in the water where the claw regenerates.
Stone Crab season on the Paradise Coast is from October 15 – May 15. With an average temperature in the high 70s all winter, and a restaurant scene to rival the best of the U.S., Naples, Florida should be at the top of seafood-lovers radars for a winter getaway.
#3. New England
From a buttery Maine lobster roll to a bowl of Clam Chowder on Cape Cod, New England’s incredible seafood certainly isn’t a secret. And its reputation as the home to some of the best seafood in the world is well deserved.
Maine’s lobster industry is well-known as a model of sustainability (and of delicious freaking lobster). Sustainable lobstering laws have been around for over a century in the state and Maine’s lobster fishermen take the rules regulating catch size very seriously.
Clams are always a sustainable option here, so don’t hesitate to order a bowl full of New England Clam Chowder (especially if it comes in a warm bread bowl 🤤).
Additionally, oysters, trout, bass, lionfish, catfish, and scallops are all safe options for sustainable seafood while you’re in the NorthEast.
This island nation is no stranger to seafood.
Icelandic fishermen have been adhering to strict regulations on the amount of fish they’re allowed to catch for decades. Iceland was at the forefront of sustainable fishing in the 90s, basing the total catch allowance off the total fish population in the waters.
While the fish on your dinner plate in Iceland most likely came from sustainable fisheries, the rest of the ingredients are often locally and organically sourced as well.
A warm bowl of fish soup is practically a necessity during the Icelandic winter. Creamy langoustine soup and traditional fish stews will become your best friend on cold winter evenings in Reykjavik.
Want to get really traditional with your seafood in Iceland? You can’t skip Harðfiskur, a type of dried-out fish jerky that Icelanders love to snack on.
#5. Belizean Cayes
Life is simple on the Belizean Cayes. And the Caribbean Sea plays a huge role in everyday life on these tiny islands. Jerk spiced-fish are grilled beachside and are typically line-caught by the locals.
Lionfish are an invasive species in the Caribbean, but healthy and delicious to eat (they taste similar to grouper).
Environmental protection groups are especially keen on protecting the Belizean waters as they are home to the world’s second-largest coral reef ecosystem. Belize is making huge improvements to encourage sustainable fishing in their waters, but you can help by informing yourself what is and is not in season during your trip.
One of the easiest things we can all do to help encourage sustainable fishing worldwide: ask! Ask your waiter, the manager, or the chef at the restaurants you visit where they buy their seafood and whether they know if those fishermen are practicing sustainable fishing.