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Doing the right thing

Helping you make sustainable choices

We’ve always worked with people who take the sustainability of the seas as seriously as we do.

That’s why, when the Marine Conservation Society (MCS) highlight a species is under threat by giving it a fish to avoid - 5 rating, we do something about it. Quickly. In fact, we are usually the first in the industry to stop selling fish that are MCS 5 rated.

We know that keeping on top of what is under threat and what isn’t can be confusing, which is why you can trust that our M&J range of fish and seafood will never include MCS rated 5 fish to avoid. It’s also why we have the largest, and ever growing, range of MSC (Marine Stewardship Council) and ASC (Aquaculture Stewardship Council) accredited fish and seafood in foodservice.  It’s all part of being a no-nonsense fishmonger. One that you can trust to do the right thing.

Click here for some inspiring recipe ideas using sustainable alternatives.

Wild Sea Bass

A study by the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES) revealed a significant decline in wild Bass stocks since 2010, whilst the evaluation of UK wild Bass fisheries by the MCS has noted concerns with overfishing and reduction in reproduction leading to localised depletion of stocks. MCS are listing 10 fisheries, 7 of which are 5 rated (fish to avoid). 

Alternatives: Farmed Sea Bass, farmed Gilt Head Bream, farmed Striped Bass, rod & line caught Black Bream, farmed Meagre, Barramundi

 

Wild Atlantic Halibut

Atlantic Halibut is a very slow growing and highly vulnerable species that have been heavily overfished. It is assessed as ‘Endangered’ by the IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) and placed on their Red List. There seems to be no robust management to protect the species and any landed fish are trawler bycatch; even though they are supposed to be returned to the sea if caught alive, more often they are landed.
 

Alternatives: Farmed Atlantic Halibut, including White Sterling Halibut, Turbot

John Dory

Landed predominantly as a bycatch not a target species. There is insufficient management to protect the species. It is one of the most recent additions to the MCS's list of 'Fish to avoid' as it has been rated 5 in 2018.

Alternatives: Monkfish, Turbot, Brill, farmed Sea Bass

Wild & Farmed European Eel

Population is at an all‐time low and is declining continually. European Eel is classified as ‘Critically Endangered’ in the wild and it is on the IUCN Red List. As Eel farming mostly comprises of catching juvenile wild Eels (ranching)  and growing them (they haven’t yet been successfully bred in captivity), the farmed option is also considered unsustainable.
 
Alternatives: Other oily fish;  Mackerel, MSC certified Herring, Keta Salmon, Pink Salmon, Sockeye

Yellow / Tub Gurnard

Gurnards are non‐quota species and frequently discarded due to low market demand. They also are often not sorted by species when they are landed and Tub Gurnard is frequently misidentified with Red Gurnard. The current Tub Gurnard stock status is not known.

Alternatives: Red Gurnard, Grey Gurnard.

Grouper

Groupers are largely overfished, stocks are not managed properly, and often caught with fishing methods detrimental to their reef habitat. This makes the species, in general, a fish to avoid. Many species of Grouper are now farmed but the sustainability of their production will inevitably vary.

Alternatives: Farmed Gilt Head Bream, Cornish Red Mullet, Barramundi, Mahi Mahi

Skate

Skates live a long time, start reproducing late in life and have  very few young. It is prohibited to fish for, retain, or land them in EU waters - this automatically makes them a red-rated species. Common Skate is also assessed as 'Critically Endangered' by IUCN and is listed by OSPAR (the Convention for the Protection of the Marine Environment of the North-East Atlantic) as a threatened and declining species.

Alternatives: Spotted or Thornback Ray landed in the Bristol Channel

North East Atlantic Dogfish

What the fish & chip shops refer to as Huss or Rock Salmon, in reality is a Spiny Dogfish – a type of Shark. As with other Shark species, reproduction in Dogfish is a slow process as they produce few young and have a long gestation period. Worldwide Sharks are being removed from our seas at an alarming rate and finning (removing fins from a live Shark and discarding the rest of the body) is one of the major causes of this.

Alternatives: MSC certified Dogfish from USA fisheries, Cod, Plaice, Haddock

Thicklip Grey Mullet

Little information is available on abundance due to lack of scientific data. The Thicklip Grey Mullet is the commonest of three species of Grey Mullet, also including Thinlip and Golden, which occur in northern European waters. They are slow-growing, long-lived and late-maturing fish. In additon, Thicklip Grey Mullet are thought to spawn on alternate years.

Alternatives: Thinlip Grey Mullet, farmed Sea Bass, farmed Gilt Head Bream, farmed Striped Bass, farmed Meagre