Fishing boat off Cornwall Sue Ranger

Press release: a new tool to help businesses source sustainable seafood

4 minute read

Evie Martin

16 Nov 2021

The Marine Conservation Society has launched a free tool to help businesses source seafood sustainably.

  • The Good Fish Guide for Business provides insights into seafood sourcing and sustainability
  • Businesses save their sustainable seafood credentials to share with suppliers and customers
  • 39% of people who buy seafood reference ‘familiarity’ as important consideration to buying seafood in a supermarket - opportunity to introduce new, sustainable seafood

Press release, 17 November 2021

The Marine Conservation Society has launched a free tool to help businesses source seafood sustainably. The Good Fish Guide for Business is an extension to the charity’s Good Fish Guide, which has been running for twenty years.

The new online portal allows businesses, chefs, or anyone working in the seafood supply chain, to find out which fish or shellfish are most environmentally responsible choice.

With 39% of people who buy seafood referencing ‘familiarity’ as an important consideration to buying seafood in a supermarket, chefs and businesses have a huge opportunity to introduce exciting sustainable seafood species to their consumers.

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Credit: Good Fish Guide for Business - example screenshot

Tom Hunt, eco-chef, food writer and sustainability consultant has used the Good Fish Guide for his business over the past 10 years said, “implementing a comprehensive sustainable sourcing policy brings kudos and authenticity to your business. Communicating it allows your business to practice transparency, building trust...

“It’s much easier to make environmental decisions as a business than as an individual. As a business you have resources and a team of professionals to help create rules and implement them... the Good Fish Guide gives your business the tool kit.”

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Tom Hunt

The Good Fish Guide rates seafood based on where and how it is caught or farmed using a simple traffic light system. Green is  ‘Best Choice’ and red is  ‘Fish to Avoid’. Ratings are based on impacts such as bycatch, habitat damage and overfishing for wild seafood, and fish feed and environmental impacts for farmed seafood.

Businesses can log in and save their seafood, generating a chart outlining how environmentally responsible their sourcing is, based on the Good Fish Guide’s traffic light system. This information can be downloaded for an easy-to-use snapshot of where businesses are in their journey to responsible sourcing, and help them to work on improvements with their suppliers.

The Guide also suggests Sustainable Alternatives, allowing chefs and businesses to see similar species that have better environmental credentials.

Jack Clarke, Sustainable Seafood Advocate at the Marine Conservation Society said: “We’re really pleased to be launching this tool which will support businesses, chefs and those working in the food industry to source ocean-friendly seafood. After more than a year of exploring consumer attitudes and values, it’s clear that ‘sustainability sells’, but all too often shoppers and diners don’t have the information they need to make informed decisions.

“Good Fish Guide for Business is a way of making it easier for businesses to support their customers and provide sustainably-sourced seafood, rigorously assessed by the experts at the Good Fish Guide.”

Trawler Net on commercial fishing boat Anney Lier

Credit: Anney Lier via Shutterstock

A recent survey carried out by YouGov found that 43% of people believe sustainability is an important consideration when buying seafood. 87% of those surveyed want better information so they can be confident that they are not buying unsustainable fish or seafood, which is where the Good Fish Guide and its business portal come in.

The charity hopes that businesses will drive the demand for sustainable seafood. This will help to relieve pressure on those species that are red rated, such as eel and wild Atlantic halibut which, despite being as endangered as the Bengal tiger, are still finding their way onto menus.

The Marine Conservation Society launched the Good Fish Guide for Business with a webinar, viewable here, outlining how the tool works. It delved into the charity's insights and learnings from a year of research and consumer testing, covering consumer attitudes to seafood sustainability, barriers and trends.

The charity already works with businesses such as Morrisons, Selfridges and Abel & Cole, as well as many smaller businesses, to improve the environmental credentials of their seafood. The Good Fish Guide for Business is a game changing tool for those looking to make easy improvements.

Alongside the new portal, the charity has a range of advice and tools for businesses, helping them to make changes to protect the ocean and its inhabitants.

The Good Fish Guide, and Good Fish Guide for Business can be found via the Marine Conservation Society’s website.


Notes to Editors

Click here to watch the webinar - Why sourcing sustainable seafood is vital to your business and your customers

All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 2181 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 19th - 20th April 2021. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all UK adults (aged 18+).

The Marine Conservation Society campaigns for clean seas and beaches, sustainable fisheries, and protection of marine life. Through education, community involvement and collaboration, the Marine Conservation Society raises awareness of the many threats that face our seas and promotes individual, industry and government action to protect the marine environment. The Marine Conservation Society provides information and guidance on many aspects of marine conservation and produces the Good Fish Guide as well as involving thousands of volunteers in projects and surveys such as Beachwatch.