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 16 - 31 of 84 species.
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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 range: from one to three 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

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

Method of production — Caught at sea
Capture method — Gill or fixed net
Capture area — North East Atlantic (FAO 27)
Stock area — Northeast Arctic
Stock detail — 1, 2
Rating: two info
Full details

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

Method of production — Caught at sea
Capture method — Demersal otter trawl
Capture area — North East Atlantic (FAO 27)
Stock area — North Sea, West of Scotland and Rockall, Skagerrak
Stock detail — 4, 6, 3a
Rating: three info
Full details

Method of production — Caught at sea
Capture method — Demersal otter trawl
Capture area — North East Atlantic (FAO 27)
Stock area — North Sea, West of Scotland and Rockall, Skagerrak
Stock detail — 4, 6, 3a
Certification — Marine Stewardship Council (MSC)
Rating: three info
Full details

Crab, brown or edible

Cancer pagurus

Brown crab, also known as edible crab, is the heaviest British crab and looks a bit like a pie on legs with its distinctive reddish-brown shell and pastry crust rim. About a third of the weight of the crab is meat, two thirds is white and Read more

Picture of Crab, brown or edible
Sustainability range: from two to three info
Method of production — Caught at sea
Capture method — Pot or creel
Capture area — North East Atlantic (FAO 27)
Stock area — Western Channel
Stock detail — VIIe
Rating: two info
Full details

Method of production — Caught at sea
Capture method — Pot or creel
Capture area — North East Atlantic (FAO 27)
Stock area — Cornwall
Stock detail — 7e
Rating: two info
Full details

Method of production — Caught at sea
Capture method — Pot or creel
Capture area — North East Atlantic (FAO 27)
Stock area — Western Channel
Stock detail — Devon Inshore Potting Area
Rating: two info
Full details

Method of production — Caught at sea
Capture method — Pot or creel
Capture area — North East Atlantic (FAO 27)
Stock area — Scotland
Stock detail — Shetland
Certification — Marine Stewardship Council (MSC)
Rating: two info
Full details

Method of production — Caught at sea
Capture method — Pot or creel
Capture area — North East Atlantic (FAO 27)
Stock area — Central North Sea
Stock detail — IVb
Rating: three info
Full details

Method of production — Caught at sea
Capture method — Pot or creel
Capture area — North East Atlantic (FAO 27)
Stock area — Eastern English Channel
Stock detail — VIId
Rating: three info
Full details

Method of production — Caught at sea
Capture method — Pot or creel
Capture area — North East Atlantic (FAO 27)
Stock area — Celtic Sea
Stock detail — VIIg
Rating: three info
Full details

Method of production — Caught at sea
Capture method — Pot or creel
Capture area — North East Atlantic (FAO 27)
Stock area — Irish Sea
Stock detail — 7a
Rating: three info
Full details

Method of production — Caught at sea
Capture method — Pot or creel
Capture area — North East Atlantic (FAO 27)
Stock area — Cornwall
Stock detail — 7f, 7g
Rating: three info
Full details

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
Rating: three info
Full details

Method of production — Caught at sea
Capture method — Pot or creel
Capture area — North East Atlantic (FAO 27)
Stock area — Wales
Stock detail — Pembrokeshire
Rating: three info
Full details

Method of production — Caught at sea
Capture method — Pot or creel
Capture area — North East Atlantic (FAO 27)
Stock area — Scotland
Stock detail — Orkney
Rating: three info
Full details

Crab, spider

Maia squinado

Picture of Crab, spider
Sustainability rating: three info
Method of production — Caught at sea
Capture method — Pot or creel
Capture area — North East Atlantic (FAO 27)
Stock area — Cornwall
Stock detail — 7e, 7f, 7g, 7h
Rating: three info
Full details

Method of production — Caught at sea
Capture method — Pot or trap
Capture area — North East Atlantic (FAO 27)
Stock area — England
Stock detail — Devon & Severn and Southern IFCA districts
Rating: three info
Full details

Method of production — Caught at sea
Capture method — Pot or trap
Capture area — North East Atlantic (FAO 27)
Stock area — England
Stock detail — All areas except Devon & Severn and Southern IFCA districts
Rating: three info
Full details

Crab, Velvet swimming

Necora puber

The velvet swimming crab is the largest swimming crab in British coastal waters. It is named after its short hairs on its body. They are small, but tasty and popular in Spanish cuisine and have a sweet and delicate meat.

Picture of Crab, Velvet swimming
Sustainability rating: three info
Method of production — Caught at sea
Capture method — Pot or creel
Capture area — North East Atlantic (FAO 27)
Stock area — England, Wales and Isle of Man
Stock detail — All areas
Rating: three info
Full details

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

Cuttlefish

Sepia officinalis

Cuttlefish (family Sepiidae) belong to a specialised group of molluscs, known as cephalopods, which also includes octopus and squid. It is one of the most commercially important cephalopod species and is also used in aquaculture. A wide Read more

Picture of Cuttlefish
Sustainability rating: two info
Method of production — Caught at sea
Capture method — Trap
Capture area — Mediterranean (FAO 37)
Stock area — All Areas
Stock detail
Rating: two info
Full details

Method of production — Caught at sea
Capture method — Hook & line
Capture area — Indian Ocean, Western (FAO 51) and Pacific, Western Central (FAO 71)
Stock area — All Areas
Stock detail
Rating: two info
Full details

Method of production — Caught at sea
Capture method — Hook & line
Capture area — Eastern Indian Ocean (FAO 57)
Stock area — All Areas
Stock detail
Rating: two info
Full details

Dab

Limanda limanda

Dab are a relatively abundant species of flatfish which provide a more sustainable alternative to more vulnerable, longer-lived and overfished species of flatfish such as plaice. It is mostly taken as bycatch in trawl fisheries and often Read more

Picture of Dab
Sustainability range: from two to three info
Method of production — Caught at sea
Capture method — Demersal otter trawl
Capture area — North East Atlantic (FAO 27)
Stock area — North Sea, Skagerrak and Kattegat
Stock detail — 4, 3a
Rating: two info
Full details

Method of production — Caught at sea
Capture method — Seine net
Capture area — North East Atlantic (FAO 27)
Stock area — North Sea, Skagerrak and Kattegat
Stock detail — 4, 3a
Rating: two info
Full details

Method of production — Caught at sea
Capture method — Beam trawl
Capture area — North East Atlantic (FAO 27)
Stock area — North Sea, Skagerrak and Kattegat
Stock detail — 4, 3a
Rating: three info
Full details

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

Flounder

Platichthys flesus

Management of flounder in the North Sea is only partially effective. Flounder is a bycatch species in other flatfish fisheries for plaice and sole and is generally considered underutilised and is commonly discarded due to low market value Read more

Picture of Flounder
Sustainability rating: three info
Method of production — Caught at sea
Capture method — Beam trawl
Capture area — North East Atlantic (FAO 27)
Stock area — North Sea
Stock detail — 3a, 4
Rating: three info
Full details

Method of production — Caught at sea
Capture method — Demersal otter trawl
Capture area — North East Atlantic (FAO 27)
Stock area — North Sea
Stock detail — 3a, 4
Rating: three info
Full details

Gurnard, Grey

Eutrigla gurnardus

Gurnards are non-quota species and often discarded due to low market demand. Increased consumption and demand for the species will alleviate the need to waste fish through the practice of discarding, but efforts must be made to understand Read more

Picture of Gurnard, Grey
Sustainability rating: three info
Method of production — Caught at sea
Capture method — Demersal otter trawl
Capture area — North East Atlantic (FAO 27)
Stock area — North Sea, Eastern English Channel and Skagerrak and Kattegat
Stock detail — 3a, 4, 7d
Rating: three info
Full details

Method of production — Caught at sea
Capture method — Demersal otter trawl
Capture area — North East Atlantic (FAO 27)
Stock area — Celtic Sea and West of Scotland
Stock detail — VI, VIIa-c and e-k
Rating: three info
Full details

Gurnard, Red

Aspitrigla cuculus

Gurnards are non-quota species and often discarded due to low market demand. Increased consumption and demand for the species will alleviate the need to waste fish through the practice of discarding, but efforts must be made to understand Read more

Picture of Gurnard, Red
Sustainability rating: three 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
Rating: three info
Full details

Method of production — Caught at sea
Capture method — Demersal otter trawl
Capture area — North East Atlantic (FAO 27)
Stock area — Northeast Atlantic (except Cornwall)
Stock detail — 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8
Rating: three info
Full details

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

Haddock

Melanogrammus aeglefinus

Haddock from UK seas, the Northeast Arctic, and Iceland are at healthy or sustainable levels and being fished sustainably. When buying longline-caught haddock, ask for fish caught using 'seabird-friendly' methods. Avoid eating immature Read more

Picture of Haddock
Sustainability range: from two to three info
Method of production — Caught at sea
Capture method — Demersal otter trawl
Capture area — North East Atlantic (FAO 27)
Stock area — Northeast Arctic
Stock detail — 1, 2
Certification — Marine Stewardship Council (MSC)
Rating: two info
Full details

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

Method of production — Caught at sea
Capture method — Demersal otter trawl and seine
Capture area — North East Atlantic (FAO 27)
Stock area — North Sea, West of Scotland, Skagerrak
Stock detail — 4, 6a, 3a.20
Certification — Marine Stewardship Council (MSC)
Rating: two info
Full details

Method of production — Caught at sea
Capture method — Longline
Capture area — North East Atlantic (FAO 27)
Stock area — North Sea, West of Scotland, Skagerrak
Stock detail — 4, 6a, 3a.20
Rating: two info
Full details

Method of production — Caught at sea
Capture method — Demersal seine net
Capture area — North East Atlantic (FAO 27)
Stock area — North Sea, West of Scotland, Skagerrak
Stock detail — 4, 6a, 3a.20
Rating: two 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: two info
Full details

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

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: two info
Full details

Method of production — Caught at sea
Capture method — Demersal otter trawl
Capture area — North East Atlantic (FAO 27)
Stock area — Rockall
Stock detail — 6b
Rating: two info
Full details

Method of production — Caught at sea
Capture method — Longline
Capture area — North East Atlantic (FAO 27)
Stock area — Rockall
Stock detail — 6b
Rating: two info
Full details

Method of production — Caught at sea
Capture method — Demersal otter trawl
Capture area — North East Atlantic (FAO 27)
Stock area — Irish Sea
Stock detail — 7a
Rating: two info
Full details

Method of production — Caught at sea
Capture method — Pelagic trawl
Capture area — North East Atlantic (FAO 27)
Stock area — Irish Sea
Stock detail — 7a
Rating: two info
Full details

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

Method of production — Caught at sea
Capture method — Demersal otter trawl
Capture area — North East Atlantic (FAO 27)
Stock area — North Sea, West of Scotland, Skagerrak
Stock detail — 4, 6a, 3a.20
Rating: two info
Full details

Method of production — Caught at sea
Capture method — Demersal otter trawl
Capture area — North East Atlantic (FAO 27)
Stock area — Rockall
Stock detail — 6b
Certification — Marine Stewardship Council (MSC)
Rating: two info
Full details

Method of production — Caught at sea
Capture method — Longline
Capture area — North East Atlantic (FAO 27)
Stock area — Northeast Arctic
Stock detail — 1, 2
Certification — Marine Stewardship Council (MSC)
Rating: two info
Full details

Method of production — Caught at sea
Capture method — Longline
Capture area — North East Atlantic (FAO 27)
Stock area — Faroes grounds
Stock detail — 5b
Rating: three info
Full details

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
Rating: three info
Full details

Hake, Cape

Merluccius capensis; Merluccius paradoxus

The South African Cape Hake Trawl fishery has been certified by the Marine Stewardship Council since 2004. In the 1970s Cape hake were heavily overfished but management measures have been effective at recovering both stocks. They are now Read more

Picture of Hake, Cape
Sustainability rating: three info
Method of production — Caught at sea
Capture method — Demersal otter trawl
Capture area — South East Atlantic (FAO 47)
Stock area — South Africa
Stock detail — All Areas
Certification — Marine Stewardship Council (MSC)
Rating: three 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 range: from one to two 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

Method of production — Caught at sea
Capture method — Demersal otter trawl
Capture area — North East Atlantic (FAO 27)
Stock area — North Sea, Celtic Seas, Bay of Biscay (north). Northern Stock.
Stock detail — 3a, 4, 6, 7, 8a, 8b, 8d
Rating: two info
Full details

Method of production — Caught at sea
Capture method — Longline
Capture area — North East Atlantic (FAO 27)
Stock area — North Sea, Celtic Seas, Bay of Biscay (north). Northern Stock.
Stock detail — 3a, 4, 6, 7, 8a, 8b, 8d
Rating: two info
Full details

Method of production — Caught at sea
Capture method — Gill or fixed net
Capture area — North East Atlantic (FAO 27)
Stock area — North Sea, Celtic Seas, Bay of Biscay (north). Northern Stock.
Stock detail — 3a, 4, 6, 7, 8a, 8b, 8d
Rating: two info
Full details

Method of production — Caught at sea
Capture method — Demersal otter trawl
Capture area — North East Atlantic (FAO 27)
Stock area — Cornwall
Stock detail — 7e, 7f, 7g, 7h
Rating: two 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 range: from one to three info
Method of production — Farmed
Production country — UK
Production method — Onshore open circuit system
Rating: one info
Full details

Method of production — Farmed
Production country — Norway
Production method — Open net pen
Certification — GLOBALG.A.P. certification
Rating: three 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 range: from one to three 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

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)
Rating: two info
Full details

Method of production — Caught at sea
Capture method — Pelagic trawl
Capture area — North East Atlantic (FAO 27)
Stock area — North Sea Autumn Spawners: North Sea, English Channel (East)
Stock detail — 4, 7d
Rating: three info
Full details

Method of production — Caught at sea
Capture method — Purse seine
Capture area — North East Atlantic (FAO 27)
Stock area — North Sea Autumn Spawners: North Sea, English Channel (East)
Stock detail — 4, 7d
Rating: three info
Full details

Method of production — Caught at sea
Capture method — Drift net
Capture area — North East Atlantic (FAO 27)
Stock area — North Sea Autumn Spawners: North Sea, English Channel (East)
Stock detail — 4, 7d
Rating: three info
Full details

Method of production — Caught at sea
Capture method — Pelagic trawl, Purse seine
Capture area — North East Atlantic (FAO 27)
Stock area — North Sea Autumn Spawners: North Sea, English Channel (East)
Stock detail — 4, 7d
Certification — Marine Stewardship Council (MSC)
Rating: three info
Full details

Horse Mackerel, Scad

Trachurus trachurus

Horse mackerel is caught in directed (human consumption) and non-directed fisheries in and around UK waters. Generally, directed horse mackerel fisheries use methods that are relatively selective or 'clean' in terms of bycatch and Read more

Picture of Horse Mackerel, Scad
Sustainability rating: two info
Method of production — Caught at sea
Capture method — Purse seine
Capture area — North East Atlantic (FAO 27)
Stock area — Atlantic Iberian waters. Southern stock.
Stock detail — 9a
Rating: two info
Full details

Method of production — Caught at sea
Capture method — Demersal otter trawl
Capture area — North East Atlantic (FAO 27)
Stock area — Atlantic Iberian waters. Southern stock.
Stock detail — 9a
Rating: two info
Full details

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