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Good Fish Guide

Your guide to sustainable seafood

Fish ratings

Each of the fish included on the MCS websites have been given a rating to enable you to quickly identify species that are considered to be sustainably produced, and those species which are not.
Fish to Eat are Rated 1 and 2 and Fish to Avoid are Rated 5.
The rating system has been developed by the Marine Conservation Society as advice for choosing the most environmentally sustainable fish.

Rating 1 - fish to eat  Rating 1 (dark green) is associated with the most sustainably produced seafood.

Rating 2 - fish to eat  Rating 2 (pale green) is still a good choice, although some aspects of its production or management could be improved

Rating 3  Rating 3 Fisheries with a rating of 3 (yellow) should probably not be considered entirely sustainable at this time. These fisheries or production methods are likely to require improvements in either stock levels or management practices and some (significant) uncertainty may surround their production. We recommend that you eat 3 rated fish only occasionally and check this website for specific details.

Rating 4  Rating 4 Fisheries (seafood) with a rating of 4 (orange) are some way from being sustainable at this time. These fisheries or farming methods are likely to have a number of significant environmental issues and uncertainties associated with their production and we recommend that you eat these only very occasionally. Ideally seek alternatives where you can. We would like to see improvements made to these sources which address the specific issues of concern.

Rating 5 - fish to avoid Rating 5 (red) is associated with fish to be avoided on the basis that all or most of the above bullet points apply.

Where a species is considered as being:

  • vulnerable to exploitation and/or assessed by the World Conservation Union (IUCN) as threatened

  • from overfished stocks and/or stocks where data is deficient

  • from poorly managed or unregulated fisheries

  • caught using methods which are detrimental to other marine species and habitat

then they are more likely to have a higher number, i.e. 4 or 5, and therefore a poorer sustainability rating. Conversely, those species from well managed, healthy stocks, which are harvested or produced in ways which have less impact on the environment or non-target species, or are from fisheries or aquaculture systems certified as being environmentally responsible, are more likely to have a lower number, i.e. 1 or 2, and therefore a higher sustainability rating.

A species whose production method or management still needs to improve for them to be considered sustainable is likely to obtain an intermediate rating, i.e. 3.

 

Fish to Eat are rated 1 & 2 and Fish to Avoid are rated 5

The rating system has been developed by the Marine Conservation Society as advice for choosing the most environmentally sustainable fish.

You can read more about our ratings system for wild fisheries in the Wild-Capture Methodology Handbook.

You can read more about our ratings system for farmed fish in the Aquaculture Methodology Handbook.

 

 

 

 


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