05 May, 2011

And, in slightly related fish news... Fish retail labels 'inadequate' say conservationists

I especially appreciate the last quote:

Consumers are not being given enough information on labels to allow them to make the choice to buy sustainable fish, according to conservationists.

The Marine Conservation Society (MCS) said it is still "virtually impossible to tell precisely where most fish and fish products have been caught".

But the British Retail Consortium said retailers do "give consumers as much information as possible".

The MCS's views come amid the launch of its new website aimed at consumers.

Where labelling by retailers is concerned, the MCS said information that is more detailed than the species, the ocean it comes from and the fishing method is needed to help people discriminate between sustainable and unsustainable seafood.

The MCS has published comprehensive updated advice on buying fish caught from sustainably managed stocks.

The latest advice issued by the conservationists shows improvements in the management and status of stocks in some fisheries, including cod from the eastern and western Baltic and the north-east Arctic, and anchovies from the Bay of Biscay.

Sustainable fish

* Mackarel
* Pollack not caught by trawling
* Red mullet
* Sardines, except those caught in the Mediterranean and Bay of Biscay

Source: MCS

However, the situation has worsened where other fish are concerned.

Dover sole caught by the destructive method of beam trawling in the western English Channel, the Irish Sea and south-west and west Ireland has been listed as a fish to avoid.

And consumers have also been urged to avoid yellowfin tuna caught using purse seine nets or long lines in the Indian Ocean.

But eating skipjack tuna caught using poles and lines in the Western Atlantic has the green light thanks to improvements in data on the stocks.

Dr Peter Duncan, of the MCS, said: "If supermarkets could get their produce from well-managed fisheries and label it as such, it opens up new opportunities for the public and fishermen. It's a win-win."

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