THE NEWS that the Marine Conservation Society (MCS) has put mackerel back on its list of ‘fish to eat’ has been welcomed by the Scottish mackerel processing industry.
The list acts as a key guide for responsibly sourcing seafood in the UK, and is cited as ‘essential’ to the catering and hospitality industry.
The MCS has released the news that mackerel sourced from the UK, Europe and Norway is now back on the menu further to sustainability projects to bring it back to sustainable levels. Mackerel from other sources such as Iceland has been pointed to as far less sustainable options, and should still be avoided.
The news has been received well by the wider industry, with Scottish fishing groups saying it was ‘great news’ for the fishing and processing sectors as well as consumers.
The chairman of the Scottish Pelagic Processors Association, Ian McFadden, added: “The reclassification of mackerel as a fish consumers can eat regularly, without threatening the sustainability of the stock, is testament to the seven North East Atlantic fisheries, which came together to agree a management plan to safeguard the sustainability of the mackerel stock.
Mackerel stocks spawn and spend most of their time within European waters and recent studies have shown the stocks are currently approaching their highest known levels.”
Mackerel is the UK’s largest fishery, SPPA said, worth around GBP 500 million (USD 816 million; EUR 642 million) and employing more than 2,000 people.