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Updated fish ratings called “disappointing”

One of the UK’s leading marine charities, the Marine Conservation Society (MCS), says it is disappointed that not one single UK fishery has moved off the ‘Fish to Avoid’ list in its most recent Good Fish Guide ratings update. What’s more, MCS says none moved on to its green rated Best Choice list either.

Over 100 ratings for 45 different species of fish that are caught within the UK’s exclusive economic zone are red-rated by the charity on its Good Fish Guide.

Samuel Stone, MCS Head of Fisheries and Aquaculture, comments: “Whilst there have certainly been improvements in fisheries management over the last decade and subsequent improvements in the health of many fish stocks, progress has now stalled. We are looking to the UK and the Devolved Administrations to put the long-term health of our seas and coastal communities first, by ensuring the new Fisheries Bill and other pieces of legislation are ambitious and will deliver sustainable fisheries.”

It’s not all bad news, however,. Some of the larger fisheries for targeted species like coley (saithe), sprat, hake, plaice and haddock are doing fairly well with green and yellow ratings.

However, there is a long way to go for several shellfish fisheries for scallop and whelks, as well as many other smaller fisheries for red mullet, grey mullet, cod, whiting, seabass, shark, skate and rays, most of which are either red or amber rated on the Good Fish Guide. Despite being smaller, these fisheries are often extremely important for coastal communities and have a vital role to play in their environment and need to be better managed.

The MCS Good Fish Guide Fish is available at as an app on iPhone or android, and paper credit card-sized version.

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