Endangered fish species will not be sold by Sainsburys

Fish species such as skate and huss are declining in numbers and are now on the endangered list. Because of this, Sainsbury’s have announced their decision to stop selling them.
Sainbury’s is the third largest supermarket chain and they are also the largest fishmonger. They are also reviewing whether or not to carry on selling fish such as swordfish, marling and Dover sole, which are also under threat. They sell about £650,000 of skate a year.
The supermarket chain has a sustainable sourcing policy and said they are encouraging their customers to purchase fish that is in season and from sustainable stocks.
Sainsbury’s have joined sources with the Marine Conservation Society (MCS) a UK charity dedicated to protecting the marine environment, to implement their sustainable sourcing policy. Part of the MCS’s work is to certify which fisheries are sustainable.
Carrie Joslin, Sainsbury’s fish buyer said, “Our aim is to offer as wide a range of seafood as possible across all stores and months of the year and, by careful selection, to make sure no species are threatened.”
This month Sainsbury’s in-season fish is Torbay sole, next month it will be the gurnard and in April it will be the red mullet.
Out of all the major supermarkets, Sainsbury’s is the most recent store to embark on a sustainable fisheries policy, after Marks and Spencer and Waitrose who have already developed sustainable policies.
The retail seafood market in the UK is worth £1.8 billion a year. According to Greenpeace, the environmental group, almost 90 per cent of all sales are made through supermarkets.
Greenpeace says three-quarters of commercially valuable fish stocks are already fully exploited, over-exploited or depleted. Whereas, 90 per cent of predatory fish such as tuna, swordfish, cod and halibut have been fished out.
A survey by Greenpeace last year put Sainsbury’s in third position for their sustainable fisheries policy, after Marks and Spence and Waitrose. Asda came last.
Bernadette Clarke, the fisheries officer for MCS, welcomed the Sainsbury’s decision to stop selling skate and huss at its 300 fish counters.
She said, “By refusing to sell endangered species and fish from unsustainable sources, large retailers such as Sainsbury’s can effect real change for marine conservation and help reverse decades of over-fishing of our oceans.”

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