Monday, March 13, 2006

How to buy fish with a clear conscience

There is a nice article in todays Independent called 'How to buy fish with a clear conscience'

"For years, the unpalatable details of the industry that delivers fish to supermarket shelves have been a well-kept secret, along with the scientific data that shows that some fish are being fished to near-extinction. But not any longer.

The ranks of enlightened fish consumers grow by the day, and proof that some of the supermarkets are waking up to the issue arrived when Greenpeace scaled the Asda headquarters in Leeds in January. No sooner was a banner unfurled from the roof depicting some of the dead and mutilated by-catch, than the campaigners were ushered inside for a chat about the sustainability of the supermarket's fish-buying policies.

Asda, which was rock bottom of a Greenpeace table of supermarkets ranked on their fish-buying policies several months ago, and in the bottom half of a similar Marine Conservation Society (MCS) table published earlier this month, announced immediately that it was removing skate wings, Dover sole, ling and dogfish from its stores. Since Asda's move, Sainsbury's has announced that it will no longer sell skate and huss, both endangered, while in the US, the discount giant Wal-Mart (which owns Asda) has declared that it will buy all of its fresh fish from sustainable sources within three to five years.


Not all fish are so problematic. Lemon sole, red mullet, red gurnard and most salmon are generally acceptable, while Atlantic halibut, skate, swordfish and marlin are not. If a blue certification logo (a fish and a tick) is stamped on a product, it is one of the 50 products accredited by the Marine Stewardship Council, and is sustainable."

Marine conservation is a very important area that is often ignored because of the fishing lobby. This has led to awful mismanagement of fish resources, lets hope that consumer power can change things.

Some resources:

marine conservation society report mentioned in the article:

fish online

greenpeace sustainable fish campaign

Marine Stewardship Council

Marine Conservation Biology Institute

save the high seas

What You Can Do to Save the Deep Sea

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