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MCS releases latest ‘Good Fish Guide’ ratings. The Marine Conservation Society has released the latest update to their Good Fish Guide ratings, with new guidance on what seafood people should and shouldn’t be opting for.

MCS says:

“Our experts have been busy behind the scenes analysing scientific data to keep our simple traffic light seafood ratings as up to date as possible. We now have ratings for more than 120 different species, covering over 600 individual ratings for fish and shellfish.

“The Good Fish Guide looks at the species, location and fishing or farming method for hundreds of different types of seafood to identify green Best Choice options and red Fish to Avoid so that you can make an easy sustainable choice.”

Charlotte Coombes, Good Fish Guide Manager, said:

“The latest ratings update for the Good Fish Guide really highlights the impact of poorly managed fisheries on the state of our seas, with so many new ratings going straight onto our Fish to Avoid list. However, there are glimmers of hope, with 20 ratings improving in the latest update, showing that where good management exists, we can recover our seas.”

“We’ve seen 20 ratings improve in the latest update, with English farmed scallops and English Channel sprat (which often is called whitebait on restaurant menus) joining the Best Choice list.

“Other green rated seafood retaining a Best Choice status are hake, hand dived scallops, Icelandic coley, and plaice caught in various locations around the English coast.

“However, 21 ratings on the Good Fish Guide got worse, with 8 new additions added to the Fish to Avoid list, including some American lobster and UK squid.

“Concerns about American lobster relate to the critically endangered Northern right whale, which can get tangled in the ropes from lobster pots. With only a few hundred left, even the death of one whale could pose a serious threat to the survival of this iconic species.

“Squid caught in the UK have been added to the red list as there is no management in place to help protect them, and scientists don’t have figures on how many of them are actually living in our waters, so we don’t know how many are sustainable to catch. The data that they do have suggests that populations might be on the decline in several areas!”

A marine expert told Fish Focus:

“The UK squid rating from MCS is totally bizarre, as squid are a fickle, short-lived species, with a very high reproductive rate, meaning that numbers are naturally high in some years and low in others.”