Wednesday 21 December 2011

Fish for the facts about fish to sustain it for the next generation

It was very strange that this press release landed in my inbox yesterday because it ties in exactly with the ecological warning behind the book Dolphin Way that I just reviewed here. Read on and find out how you can make eco-friendly choices when shopping and cooking. If you head to the website, you can test your knowledge and win a prize too.


You have the power to decide with your fork and opt for ‘sustainable’ fish. It’s not too late but if we do not make changes now in the way we buy and eat our fish, the next generation will know fish mainly through pictures.

Maria Damanaki, European Commissioner for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries confirmed this fact at a recent press conference; "Major change is needed at all levels. For consumers, it means learning how to choose fish wisely. We have the power to make sure future generations can eat fish, too.”

The Facts

Our current eating habits are damaging the environment’s ability to reproduce the fish we enjoy. Currently ¾ of Europe’s fish species are over-fished

We have the power to change this by choosing the fish we eat wisely, diversifying, paying attention to the size so that the fish is not too young,. Through this, we will protect our natural resources and our food supply

You can all be part of the movement in favour of responsible fishing. It is not about stop eating fish but how to make the right choices which also involve looking for the right labels in supermarkets. Several organisations produce guides for different countries in the EU, listing recommended seafood products available in supermarkets including:-

The Marine Stewardship Council (MSC), created in 1997, certifies a fishery or a fish stock. It operates worldwide, with the majority in developed countries, and applies multiple international standards including the UN FAO Code of Conduct for Responsible Fishing.

The 'Friend of the Sea' (FOS), created in 2006. It certifies both farmed fish and fish caught at sea, in both developed and developing countries.

The KRAV 'fisheries' label, created in 2004, is limited to Sweden and Norway.

Major retailing chains and other players have also organised their own labels, but consumers should get information about the true extent of these commitments.

You can also ask your fishmonger or restaurateur about the fish they sell, or look it up in a seafood guide.

A recent WWF survey carried out in 14 countries revealed that 88% of European consumers want to buy sea products from stocks fished in a responsible manner. The movement to ensure sustainable fishes is growing and supporting the need for change includes:

“We firmly believe that sustainable practice is the only way to safeguard fish as a key global food resource both now and for future generations.”
Mike Mitchell, CSR Director for Young’s Seafood and Findus Group

“We are committed not to purchase fish from endangered stocks. We have also decided not to sell and serve fish and seafood red listed by IUCN and/or WWF. “
Anders Lennartsson, Sustainability Manager, IKEA Food Services

“We want to preserve fish stocks in the sea for our kids. Changes to make fishing sustainable will be the only way the industry can cope.”
Scott McMaster, Manager, The Chip Box, fish and chip shop, Stewarton, Scotland

London-based chef, Tom Aikens and owner of the critically acclaimed Tom Aikens
Restaurant only serves sustainable fish in his restaurant.

Pisces-Responsible Fish Restaurant initiative helps chefs’ source better quality, more sustainable and more local fish and rewards good fishing practices with better prices for fishermen. Pisces-RFR fosters direct relationships with independent fishing families, secures their livelihood while at the same time enables them to guarantee a strict environmental policy and top-quality seafood for restaurants.

Fish2fork is the world’s first website to review restaurants according to whether their seafood is sustainable, and not just how it tastes. Fish2fork is already active in 4 European countries.

Many labels exist for fish and seafood products. Get to know the labels and add certified products to your product range. Further information and advice from the EC can be found at  

Other blogposts you may be interested in :

1 comment:

  1. We live in Kochi, the major port city in west cost of India by the Arabian sea. We get plenty of Sardine, Mackerel & Tuna and we eat fish daily with varieties of rice.


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