Supermarkets face more criticism over fish labelling –

Supermarkets face more criticism over fish labelling Published:  06 May, 2011

BRITAIN’s supermarkets have come in for more criticism over the labelling of fish and seafood dishes.

The Marine Conservation Society says that consumers are not being given adequate information on labels to enable them to choose sustainable fish. The MCS said: “It is virtually impossible to tell precisely where most fish and fish products have been caught”.

Two weeks ago a joint investigation by the Sunday Times and Greenpeace, with the scientific analysis carried out by Bangor University, found that a number of popular supermarket dishes contained fish that was not mentioned on the label – and in some cases that fish was of a cheaper or inferior variety.

The MCS has just launched a new website directed at consumers which includes a comprehensive update on what fish is from sustainably managed stocks.

Sustainable species include mackerel, pollack that is not trawled, red mullet and sardines unless they come from the Mediterranean of the Bay of Biscay.

The MCS lists some UNsustainable species as haddock from the west coast of Scotland and the Faroes, wild caught Atlantic salmon and hake from Spain or Portugal.Where labelling by retailers is concerned, the MCS said information that is more detailed than the species, the ocean it comes from and the fishing method is needed to help people discriminate between sustainable and unsustainable seafood.

Dr Peter Duncan, of the MCS, said: “If supermarkets could get their produce from well-managed fisheries and label it as such, it opens up new opportunities for the public and fishermen. It’s a win-win.” He added: “The use of a traffic light system to indicate the nutritional value of supermarket produce is now well-established. However the labelling of fish and fish products sold in supermarkets has not kept pace.”