Overfishing Our Oceans: What a Hospital Can Do To Help (Plus, Tasty Tacos)

Eating seafood is part of life in the Pacific Northwest. Can you imagine summer in Seattle without the frenzy over Copper River salmon or enjoying fresh halibut with friends?

Yet, according to the World Wildlife Fund more than 85 percent of the world’s fisheries have been pushed to or beyond their limits and several commercial fish populations have declined to the point where their survival as a species is threatened. Fish stocks, as well as other marine life, are severely threatened by overfishing (catching too many fish so that the population can’t reproduce enough to replace them).

Food & Nutrition Services’ Jerry Roundy, director, and Brian Brooks, executive chef

Food & Nutrition Services’ Jerry Roundy, director, and Brian Brooks, executive chef

As one of the 50 Greenest Hospitals in America, Virginia Mason cares about sustainable fishing and is proud to be the first hospital in the United States to earn Marine Stewardship Council Certification. The Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) is an international nonprofit organization set up to promote solutions to the problem of overfishing. The certification means we’re committed to serving seafood grown and harvested by certified, environmentally sustainable methods.

MSC-certified seafood is regularly served in the cafeteria and is an in-room menu option for hospitalized patients every day. We also serve locally grown organic produce, local grass-fed beef, antibiotic-free chicken, cage-free eggs and rBGH-free dairy products in its cafeteria, food kiosks and patient rooms. Want to learn more?  Listen to this Green Acres Radio coverage of our MSC Certification.

You can do your part, too, by looking for the MSC ecolabel when shopping or dining out. Try using sustainable seafood in the Tasty Fish Taco recipe below.

“You can use any fish for this recipe,” says Executive Chef Brian Brooks. “With the summer season now upon us, I would highly recommend a delicious piece of halibut or some Copper River sockeye salmon – just brush with olive oil, season with salt and pepper and grill to make a deliciously tasty dish.”



Tasty Fish Tacos with Pickled Radish

Serves FourTacos


5 ounces sustainable fish

8 each tortilla, flour 6″

12 ounces green cabbage, shredded

4 ounces red cabbage, shredded

2 ounces dressing, chipotle ranch

2 ounces fresh cilantro, chopped

4 ounces diced tomatoes

4 ounces Cotija cheese, crumbled

8 ounces pickled radish

6 ounces dressing, chipotle ranch

8 each Lime, wedges


  1. Grill fish by brushing with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. (Or cook per package directions if you’re using prepared fish. We won’t tell.)
  2. Make chipotle ranch by adding diced chipotles in adobo to your favorite ranch dressing
  3. Toss together cabbages, dressing and cilantro
  4. Place tortillas on plate. Spoon in 2 ounce cabbage mixture in each tortilla
  5. Cut and portion fish so there is enough for each tortilla
  6. Sprinkle with 1/2 ounce tomatoes and 1/2 ounce cheese
  7. Top with pickled radish
  8. Fold over tortilla and serve with lime wedges and side of dressing.


Pickled Radishes

8 servings


1 pound radishes, sliced

1 cup red wine vinegar

1/2 cup cold water

2 teaspoon honey

2 teaspoon sea salt

1 teaspoon chopped garlic

1/2 fresh jalapeno, sliced


  1. Slice radishes and jalapenos and place in bowl
  2. Combine vinegar, water, honey, salt & garlic in a pot and heat over medium high heat until all ingredients are dissolved
  3. Pour over radishes and jalapenos
  4. Place in refrigerator until cool
    Extras may be held for up to 45 days



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