Consumers Told To Be More Experimental With Fish

Supermarket shoppers must change their buying habits and start purchasing a wider range of fish in order to help preserve heavily exploited species, according to a conservation group.
The Marine Conservation Society (MCS) reported yesterday that the five most popular types of seafood account for up to 80 per cent of British supermarket sales, and more worryingly some fish species ‘of concern’ are still available in some stores.
The exploited fish include North Sea plaice, Dover sole, warm-water prawns trawled in the wild, marlin, and Atlantic cod from over-fished stocks such as the Eastern Baltic.
The MCS said around 85 per cent of chilled and frozen fish sold in the UK were by supermarket retailers, with haddock, tuna, cod, and prawns making up most of the sales .
Sainsbury’s and Iceland are the main culprits, both selling two varieties of fish on the group’s ‘list of fish to avoid’, while Asda, Tesco, and the Co-op each sell one type, according to a supermarket survey conducted by the MCS.
Bernadette Clarke, fishery officer for the MCS, warned that the pressure is rising on some seafood stocks .
“Whilst the supermarkets do generally have a wide range of fish – in the case of Waitrose 26 fish – there is still this demand by consumers and interest in just five species, and mainly cod and haddock,” she said.
“Certainly consumers need to be a bit more experimental in their taste in fish,” she added.
The MSC is calling for large food chains to improve their fish labelling, by including the product’s common and scientific names, the method and area of capture, and the ‘sustainability’ level of the fish stock .

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