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Arctic char

Salvelinus alpinus

Method of production - Farmed
Production country - UK
Production method - Land based flow through and recirculating systems.
Accreditation -
Fish type - Oily fish

Sustainability rating Click for explaination of rating

This fish, caught by the methods and in the area listed above, is the most sustainable fish to eat. Click on the rating icon above to read more and on the alternatives tab below to find similar fish to eat.

Sustainability overview

Land based farmed Arctic char is a good choice to make when looking for an oily fish. The use of land based production systems addresses many issues of environmental concern that can be associated with farmed fish production. Artic charr has a lower requirement for fish in its diet compared to other salmonid species and in UK and Icelandic production responsibly sourced feed is used.


A member of the Salmonidae family (as are salmon and trout), Arctic char (or charr) are both a freshwater and marine fish. Anadromous forms of the fish spend the majority of their lives at sea and those forms that do not migrate live in lakes and rivers. They are native to the cold water of the Artic and sub-artic, occupying coastal waters and lakes. It is also a native species to Scotland where is it found in deep, cold glacial lakes, as can be found in similar deep waters in the rest of the UK. It can reach sizes over 9kg but more typically are offered for sale at 1 -2 kg. In the wild they have a varied diet comprising of fish, insects, and crustaceans. Artic char are very sensitive to water pollution and acidification.

Stock information

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Stock information


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Production method

Land based flow through and recirculating systems.

The production of fish using land based, freshwater recirculating and flow through systems addresses the issues of environmental concern that can arise from open water production as interaction, and therefore impact, on the environment is prevented. The negative effects that can be associated with open waters systems such as uncontrolled discharges, escapes of farmed fish, transfer of disease and parasites, habitat damage and adverse effects on local wildlife are prevented by the containment systems in use.

Read the MCS Aquaculture policy position paper


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