Sustainable seafood sales jump 60% in two years

By: Clare Fischer
Date posted: 18 April 2018

The German discounter Aldi now stocks the largest proportion of sustainable seafood products of all UK supermarkets as overall sales jumped 60% in the last two years.

Smoked Haddock - MSC
© Alan Parkinson

It’s fantastic to see that supermarkets in the UK are sourcing more certified sustainable seafood.

Rajina Gurung,
MCS Seafood Sustainability Advocate

The figures have been published in the annual Supermarket Sustainable Seafood League table by the Marine Stewardship Council - an international non-profit organisation that runs an eco-label and fishery certification programme which recognises and rewards sustainable fishing practices.

In the latest league table, Sainsbury’s came second and Lidl third.

Just under 80% of Aldi’s seafood range is certified sustainable, Sainsbury’s stock more than 200 certified products making up 76% of its wild seafood range and Lidl is third, with just over 100 products or 72% of its range.

At the other end of the table is Marks & Spencer’s with just 19% of their stocked seafood carrying the blue tick and, whilst Iceland and Morrisons are right at the bottom of the league with under 5% of their seafood range certified sustainable.

But what the figures also show is that all the supermarkets are selling more sustainable seafood than ever before, a 60% jump over the last two years.

67% of Waitrose’s range is MSC certified, 61% of Co-op’s range is MSC certified, while Tesco stocks 128 sustainable products covering 48% of its wild fish stock.

Asda introduced the biggest increase in its certified sustainable range from 17 products to 52, or 38%.

MSC programme director Toby Middleton said: “The majority of British supermarkets are making a real investment in the future of their seafood.

“If you’re buying MSC-labelled fish or seafood in one of these top five supermarkets, you’re helping to make a positive difference to the world’s oceans.

“The MSC blue fish label (indicating that seafood has been sustainably caught and can be traced back to source) means the ‘science bit’ has been done for you.

“Our league table shows that retailers are offering their customers clear labelling and the chance to make a difference, helping to protect fish stocks for our children and our grandchildren.”

Rajina Gurung, Marine Conservation Society Seafood Sustainability Advocate, said: “It’s fantastic to see that supermarkets in the UK are sourcing more certified sustainable seafood.

“Knowing where your fish comes from is still a minefield for shoppers, but with more Marine Stewardship Council blue tick products and access to our Good Fish Guide, with its simple traffic light rating system, shoppers are now in the driving seat.

To help secure healthy oceans for the future avoid buying red rated unsustainable fish and check the Good Fish Guide (online, via the app or the pocket guide) for the most up to date sustainability rating”.

Actions you can take

  1. Download our guide showing how fish are caught
  2. Download our award winning 'Good Fish Guide App'.
  3. View the Good Fish Guide online
  4. Download our guide showing how fish are farmed
  5. Download the Good Fish Guide .pdf

Did you know?…

Over 3,000 sq km of our seabed is now protected from bottom-towed gear

A estimated £1.1 billion is spent on fish and chips every year in the UK

Farmed marine fin fish production in Scotland is estimated to increase by 30% between 2014-2020

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