THE MARINE Conservation Society (MCS) and Marine Stewardship Council (MSC – not to be confused – have both published updates recently offering good news and bad.
Although 29% of the world’s oceans are overfished, 10% of all wild-caught seafood now comes from fisheries certified by the MSC. The number of MSC-labelled products has doubled in the past five years – it’s now worth $4.8bn (£3bn). Indeed, recent studies in the Journal of Agricultural Economics showed that the certification can draw a price premium.
Meanwhile, the MCS has noted “continuing problems” for wild-caught Atlantic salmon, for instance, while cod from both the east and west Baltic have a “cautionary” rating in the sustainable seafood guide. North Sea cod remains a “fish to avoid” as do some whiting – which are often seen as a replacement for cod and plaice – depending on the method of production and location.
There is better news for herring from the western Baltic, which has moved away from the “avoid” end of the spectrum, but should be eaten sparingly. North-east Arctic haddock and mackerel from the EU and Norway are all now on the “fish to eat” list.