MCS downgrades its rating of this popular oily fish, as arguments over who’s catching what in the north east Atlantic continue.
After years of being a popular sustainable choice, mackerel should no longer be appearing so regularly on your dinner plate.
The oily fish, which is packed with Omega 3, has been removed from the MCSs latest Fish to Eat list and is now rated by the charity as a fish to eat only occasionally.
The change in fortunes for the species is the result of overfishing of the stock and the subsequent suspension of the north east Atlantic stock’s Marine Stewardship Council certification, meaning it is no longer considered a sustainable fishery.
MCS Fisheries Officer, Bernadette Clarke, says numbers of mackerel have increasingly been found further north west in the Atlantic. “The stock has moved into Icelandic and Faroese waters, probably following their prey of small fish, crustaceans and squid. As a result both countries have begun to fish more mackerel than was previously agreed. The total catch is now far in excess of what has been scientifically recommended and previously agreed upon by all participating countries. Negotiations to introduce new catch allowances have so far failed to reach agreement.”
MCS says good alternatives to mackerel are herring and sardine – both of which are on the charity’s Fish to Eat List.
Consumers can get the very latest sustainable seafood advice by logging on to www.fishonline.org where the latest Pocket Good Fish Guide can also be downloaded allowing shoppers to take the most up-to-date advice with them to the fish counter.
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