Good Fish Guide

Your guide to sustainable seafood


You can play a key role in securing the future of our seas and marine wildlife by making more environmentally responsible choices when buying seafood.

Our seas face a wide range of threats. Climate change, pollution, habitat and biodiversity loss are all impacting our seas; plus 90% of global fish stocks are either fully or over-exploited. All these factors combined mean that urgent action is needed to restore the health of our seas. Fish farming (aquaculture) is rapidly expanding to meet increasing demand for seafood, but if this is done badly it can also damage the environment and exacerbate these other problems.

Use the Good Fish Guide to find out which fish are the most sustainable (Green rated), and which are the least sustainable (Red rated). Make the right choice and reduce your impact – every purchase matters! Find out more about our seafood work, including how we develop our seafood ratings, plus sustainable seafood recipes and more.

Our seafood work

 
 
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Showing 1 - 15 of 21 species.
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Abalone

Haliotis discus hannai; Haliotis tuberculata

Abalone can be farmed on land in aquaculture systems that are enclosed, referred to as "recirculating systems", which means that all water and waste are contained. Abalone graze on seaweeds for food. As there are no environmental Read more

Picture of Abalone
Sustainability rating: one info
Method of production — Farmed
Production country — Ireland
Production method — Recirculating system
Rating: one info
Full details

Method of production — Farmed
Production country — France
Production method — Open water crate
Certification — Organic certification
Rating: one info
Full details

Arctic char

Salvelinus alpinus

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 Read more

Picture of Arctic char
Sustainability rating: one info
Method of production — Farmed
Production country — UK
Production method — Land based flow through and recirculating systems.
Rating: one info
Full details

Clam, Manila (Farmed)

Ruditapes philippinarium

All Manila clams in the UK are progeny of broodstock imported from the west coast of USA. They are grown in trays on trestles in the sea before planting out in ground plots or seabed. Only a small number of Manila clams are farmed for the Read more

Picture of Clam, Manila (Farmed)
Sustainability rating: one info
Method of production — Farmed
Production country — UK
Production method — Bottom culture
Rating: one info
Full details

Cod, Atlantic Cod

Gadus morhua

There are a many different Atlantic cod populations and whilst some are being well managed and are in a healthy state, many others are in a poor state, particularly around the UK. Many of the well managed fisheries are certified as Read more

Picture of Cod, Atlantic Cod
Sustainability rating: one info
Method of production — Caught at sea
Capture method — Longline
Capture area — North East Atlantic (FAO 27)
Stock area — Iceland
Stock detail — 5a
Certification — Marine Stewardship Council (MSC)
Rating: one info
Full details

Method of production — Caught at sea
Capture method — Gill or fixed net
Capture area — North East Atlantic (FAO 27)
Stock area — Iceland
Stock detail — 5a
Certification — Marine Stewardship Council (MSC)
Rating: one info
Full details

Method of production — Caught at sea
Capture method — Demersal otter trawl
Capture area — North East Atlantic (FAO 27)
Stock area — Iceland
Stock detail — 5a
Certification — Marine Stewardship Council (MSC)
Rating: one info
Full details

Cod, Pacific Cod

Gadus macrocephalus

Pacific cod is fished throughout the east and west North Pacific Ocean in both targeted and non-targeted fisheries, using a range of gear types, including: demersal trawl, gill net, seine and longline. The best options are the fisheries Read more

Picture of Cod, Pacific Cod
Sustainability rating: one info
Method of production — Caught at sea
Capture method — Pot or creel
Capture area — North East Pacific (FAO 67)
Stock area — Alaska
Stock detail — Bering Sea
Certification — Marine Stewardship Council (MSC)
Rating: one info
Full details

Method of production — Caught at sea
Capture method — Longline
Capture area — North East Pacific (FAO 67)
Stock area — Alaska
Stock detail — Bering Sea
Certification — Marine Stewardship Council (MSC)
Rating: one info
Full details

Method of production — Caught at sea
Capture method — Demersal otter trawl
Capture area — North East Pacific (FAO 67)
Stock area — Alaska
Stock detail — Bering Sea
Certification — Marine Stewardship Council (MSC)
Rating: one info
Full details

Method of production — Caught at sea
Capture method — Longline
Capture area — North West Pacific (FAO 61)
Stock area — Russia
Stock detail — Bering Sea (West) and Chukotskaya, Karaginskaya & Petropavlovsko-Komandorskaya subzones
Certification — Marine Stewardship Council (MSC)
Rating: one info
Full details

Method of production — Caught at sea
Capture method — Demersal seine net
Capture area — North West Pacific (FAO 61)
Stock area — Russia
Stock detail — Bering Sea (West) and Chukotskaya, Karaginskaya & Petropavlovsko-Komandorskaya subzones
Rating: one info
Full details

Coley, Saithe

Pollachius virens

Coley or saithe is generally a good choice. The best options are from Iceland and the North East Arctic, where they are not overfished, and are not subject to overfishing. Avoid eating immature saithe below about 60cm. Look out for MSC Read more

Picture of Coley, Saithe
Sustainability rating: one info
Method of production — Caught at sea
Capture method — Demersal otter trawl
Capture area — North East Atlantic (FAO 27)
Stock area — Iceland
Stock detail — 5a
Certification — Marine Stewardship Council (MSC)
Rating: one info
Full details

Method of production — Caught at sea
Capture method — Gill or fixed net
Capture area — North East Atlantic (FAO 27)
Stock area — Iceland
Stock detail — 5a
Certification — Marine Stewardship Council (MSC)
Rating: one info
Full details

Method of production — Caught at sea
Capture method — Purse seine
Capture area — North East Atlantic (FAO 27)
Stock area — Northeast Arctic
Stock detail — 1, 2
Rating: one info
Full details

Hake, European

Merluccius merluccius

There are two main stocks for European hake - a northern and a southern one. The biomass for the northern stock has recovered from depleted levels following good management and is now at a record high. Fishing effort on the southern stock Read more

Picture of Hake, European
Sustainability rating: one info
Method of production — Caught at sea
Capture method — Gill or fixed net
Capture area — North East Atlantic (FAO 27)
Stock area — Cornwall
Stock detail — 7e, 7f, 7g, 7h
Certification — Marine Stewardship Council (MSC)
Rating: one info
Full details

Halibut, Atlantic (Farmed)

Hippoglossus hippoglossus

Atlantic halibut is widely farmed although in small quantities compared to other species. Unlike salmon and cod, halibut can be farmed in closed tanks as well as in open pens. Choose halibut farmed in closed, shore based production systems Read more

Picture of Halibut, Atlantic (Farmed)
Sustainability rating: one info
Method of production — Farmed
Production country — UK
Production method — Onshore open circuit system
Rating: one info
Full details

Herring or sild

Clupea harengus

The sustainability of herring varies significantly depending on which population it comes from and MCS recommends checking labels for catch locations. The best choice is from the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) certified fishery in the Read more

Picture of Herring or sild
Sustainability rating: one info
Method of production — Caught at sea
Capture method — Pelagic trawl
Capture area — North East Atlantic (FAO 27)
Stock area — Irish Sea (North)
Stock detail — 7a (North)
Certification — Marine Stewardship Council (MSC)
Rating: one info
Full details

Kingfish, yellowtail

Seriola lalandi

Globally, over 150,000 tonnes of Seriola species are produced each year through aquaculture. Seriola is used predominantly in sushi and is therefore something of a niche species. In 2019 the UK imported around 20 tonnes of it from the Read more

Picture of Kingfish, yellowtail
Sustainability rating: one info
Method of production — Farmed
Production country — Netherlands
Production method — Recirculating Aquaculture System (RAS)
Certification — Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) certification; Global Aquaculture Alliance Best Aquaculture Practices (GAA BAP) 2* certified
Rating: one info
Full details

Mackerel

Scomber scombrus

Handline-caught mackerel from the southwest of England remains the best choice thanks to its ring-fenced quota and low impact methods. The mackerel stock in the North-East Atlantic is in a good state and in general is caught by pelagic Read more

Picture of Mackerel
Sustainability rating: one info
Method of production — Caught at sea
Capture method — Handline
Capture area — North East Atlantic (FAO 27)
Stock area — Northeast Atlantic and adjacent waters
Stock detail — South West England
Rating: one info
Full details

Method of production — Caught at sea
Capture method — Handline
Capture area — North East Atlantic (FAO 27)
Stock area — Cornwall
Stock detail — 7e, 7f, 7g, 7h
Rating: one info
Full details

Mussel, Chilean (Farmed)

Mytilus chilensis

Mussels are widely cultivated. Shellfish farming is a low-impact method of aquaculture and high quality water standards are required for cultivation of shellfish for human consumption. Mussel farming requires no feed inputs therefore Read more

Picture of Mussel, Chilean (Farmed)
Sustainability rating: one info
Method of production — Farmed
Production country — Chile
Production method — Suspended Rope Culture and Bottom Culture
Certification — All
Rating: one info
Full details

Mussel, mussels (Farmed)

Mytilus edulis

Mussels are widely cultivated. Shellfish farming is a low-impact method of aquaculture and high quality water standards are required for cultivation of shellfish for human consumption. Mussel farming requires no feed inputs therefore Read more

Picture of Mussel, mussels (Farmed)
Sustainability rating: one info
Method of production — Farmed
Production country — UK and Ireland (Republic of)
Production method — Suspended Rope Culture and Bottom Culture
Certification — Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) and/or Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) certification
Rating: one info
Full details

Method of production — Farmed
Production country — UK and Ireland (Republic of)
Production method — Suspended Rope Culture and Bottom Culture
Rating: one info
Full details

Oyster, Native, oysters (Caught at sea)

Ostrea edulis

Throughout European waters, including much of Britain, the native oyster is depleted in the wild. Areas once noted for their large natural beds are now being used for oyster farming or cultivation including non-native species, such as the Read more

Picture of Oyster, Native, oysters (Caught at sea)
Sustainability rating: one info
Method of production — Caught at sea
Capture method — Sail and oar
Capture area — North East Atlantic (FAO 27)
Stock area — Cornwall
Stock detail — 7e, 7f, 7g, 7h
Rating: one info
Full details

Oyster, Native, oysters (Farmed)

Ostrea edulis

Throughout European waters including much of Britain the native oyster is depleted in the wild. Areas once noted for their large natural beds are now being used for oyster farming or cultivation including non-native species, such as the Read more

Picture of Oyster, Native, oysters (Farmed)
Sustainability rating: one info
Method of production — Farmed
Production country — UK
Production method — Bottom & suspension culture
Rating: one info
Full details

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