Marks & Spencers and Youngs Seafood Ltd lead the way in the UK with supplying MSC (Marine Stewardship Council) certified fish to consumers. M&S is aiming for all fish products to be MSC within 5 years. Other supermarkets are dragging their heals but are beginning to understand the need to support the MSC scheme.
The MSC is an independent, global, non-profit organisation which was set up to find a solution to the problem of overfishing. They were first established by Unilever, the world’s largest buyer of seafood, and WWF, the international conservation organisation, in 1997. In 1999 they became fully independent from both organisations and today they are funded by a wide range of organisations including charitable foundations and corporate organisations around the world.
They spent two years developing our environmental standard for sustainable and well-managed fisheries. This standard was put together following worldwide consultation with scientists, fisheries experts, environmental organisations and other people with a strong interest in preserving fish stocks for the future.
BBC Radio 4’s The Food Programme has a two part series on Sustainable Fishing. It’s a very informative piece of journalism which, if you eat seafood and wish to continue doing so in future, I suggest you listen to here. Central to the programme is how the MSC scheme works. There are interviews with M&S and Youngs, as well as with fishermen connected to the Hastings Fishermen’s Protection Society, who have been MSC registered for some time. Holland buys much of their Dover Sole because they are somewhat further forward with supporting the MSC scheme.
So, UK fish buying customers, get out there and support the MSC scheme by purchasing the MSC product. You know it makes sense. 🙂
If you’re down Hastings way check out the local Brasserie Pissarro’s who serve up the local fish on their menu. The Food Programme had fresh mackeral, flash flied with a little thyme. So unfair! Oh and when you do visit the Pissarro’s website have your speakers switched on as they also serve up some nice cool background jazz. 🙂