MCS takes three haddock fisheries off 'green list'

20 March, 2017, 08:43 | Author: Leticia Walters
  • Haddock from UK waters removed from sustainable seafood list

"Compared to 2015, the [haddock] stock numbers in 2016 were below the recommended level and at the point where action is now needed to increase the number of fish of breeding age", says Bernadette Clarke, manager of the MCS Good Fish Guide.

The Marine Conservation Society, however, said it had not called for haddock to be taken off menus, which it only does with fish with an "avoid" high score of five.

Two North Sea haddock fisheries are now rated 4 (amber), and the other has dropped from being a good choice (rated 2) to one to eat only occasionally (rated 3).

They have been downgraded because stock numbers in 2016 were below the recommended level and action was needed to increase the number of fish at breeding age.

THE Scottish Fishermen's Federation has denounced advice over the state of United Kingdom haddock stocks as "silly" and said consumers should carry on eating the species.

Haddock from the North Sea and the west of Scotland have been taken off a list of sustainable "fish to eat".

The charity has removed haddock caught in those areas from its recommended list of sustainable fish and is advising shoppers and diners to choose coley, pouting - a member of the cod family - or whiting instead. "We completely reject this [downgrade], it's silly, it's unhelpful and the public should ignore it". Try telling that to fishermen today who are seeing huge volumes of large cod on the grounds.

"The Scottish haddock fishermen have already worked with the government to set lower quotas in response to the latest scientific advice", said the MSC's James Simpson.

A spokeswoman said: "The new ratings for North Sea and West of Scotland haddock are three and four".

"I'll be choosing MSC labelled Scottish haddock tonight for my fish and chip supper knowing that it's been caught by responsible fishermen with sustainable management that's been checked and monitored by the world's most rigorous scientific test of sustainability".

There were improvements for some other fisheries - with scampi from Farn Deeps fishery being upgraded from a rating of five to a four. "New stock assessments have revealed the population has recovered to a healthy level after previously being overfished".

"It's not just environmentally irresponsible, it's economically irresponsible, as according to our data more, not less, fish could be available if stocks are managed sustainably", Oceana commented.

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