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Monkfish off however herring and sardines again on menu, says up to date sustainable seafood information


The Good Fish Guide is a traffic-light guide to seafood sustainability in the UK used by consumers, restaurants, supermarkets and suppliers.

It shows consumers and businesses which seafood options are the most sustainable by using a simple traffic light system. Green is the Best Choice, amber is OK to eat but improvements are needed, and red indicates Fish to Avoid. 

The list rates seafood that is sold, fished or farmed in the UK and has over 650 ratings for 120 different species.

Unsustainable seafood is one of the biggest threats to seas, according to the MCS, which said the guide aims to drive the market towards responsible sourcing of sustainable seafood. At least 20% of the seafood sold in the UK is from businesses that use the GFC to guide sourcing decisions.  

A key change in the updated guide sees herring and sardines join the Best Choice list.

There had been concerns about herring from the North Sea, as populations had been in decline since 2017. However, this seems to be slowing down, the MCS said, and the latest science shows that the population is a healthy size.

Sardines caught off the south and southwest coasts of the UK have also joined the Best Choice list due to new science showing healthy population levels.

A recent survey from the Marine Conservation Society found that 62% of Brits frequently buy tinned or jarred seafood. The latest Good Fish Guide ratings show improvements in the sustainability credentials of some of the nation’s favourite tinned fish.

Jack Clarke, Sustainable Seafood Advocate said: “Tinned fish, if caught or farmed sustainably, can make a great sustainable meal choice. It’s affordable, keeps for a long time and really delivers on flavour. Tinned fish is incredibly versatile too, adding depth and umami to countless dishes, making a great store cupboard staple.”

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