Pole and line Tuna fishing boat Maldives MacAlister Elliot and Partners

Why should you source seafood sustainably?

Well-managed, fisheries can offer a limitless supply of seafood. Sustainable aquaculture projects can provide our growing population with nutritious, low-carbon protein for generations to come.

We work across the board, from fish farms to the House of Lords to make seafood more sustainable. But we can only do so much. We need businesses like yours to help us to make sure sustainable seafood is the only option available to British consumers.

Conscious consumption is on the rise and your customers expect you to be making strides. We can help.

We've been the voice of the seas in the UK for over 30 years. We have a history of success in championing sustainable seafood and have worked with a range of businesses and stakeholders across the seafood industry.

Two thirds of consumers think that in order to save our ocean, we have to consume seafood that only comes from sustainable sources.

MSC 2020

We make sustainable seafood sourcing simple. With online tools, resources and tailored advice.

How to source sustainable seafood

Assess your sources

First of all, you need to get to grips with your seafood sources. In order to check the sustainability, you’ll need to know some key details.

  • What species is it?
  • Is it wild or farmed?
  • Where was it caught or farmed?
  • How was it caught of farmed?
  • Is it certified?
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You might have this information on invoices, but you might need to talk to your supplier to find out these details.

Talk to your supplier

Tell them about your sustainability decisions and aspirations. Many wholesalers have a good understanding of sustainability issues and will be able to help you with information and good alternatives.

It’s important to ask them about their sourcing, as it lets them know their customers value this. It’s the best way to drive change all the way through the supply chain.

Remove and improve

The Good Fish Guide rates seafood from 1-5. One is green and is the most sustainable choice, five is red-rated and should be avoided. The sustainability checker will give you an idea of the scale of changes you need to put into place.

Remove any red-rated sources. Often, you’ll be able to source the same item, but from a better fishery or farm. Sometimes you’ll have to swap it for a more sustainable choice (see sustainable swaps).

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Make a public commitment

Once you’ve sorted your sourcing, you should make a public commitment to keeping up your good work. The best way to do this is through a publicly available sourcing policy on your website. This lets your customers and suppliers know that you’re serious about sustainability and that you run a responsible, ethical business.

We have more information on policies here, as well as customisable templates to make it easier for your business to share your plans and priorities.

Communicate this to your customers

It’s all very well doing all this hard work, but it’s really important to communicate this to your customers. Now you know more about the provenance of your seafood, why not put it on the menu?

It’s really important to tell the story of your seafood. Your customers will not only thank you for it, but studies have shown they’ll be willing to pay more for it (Neilsen 2018)!

Never stop improving

Once you've started sourcing sustainable seafood, it doesn't stop there. What can you do next? Think about where you want your business to be in five years. Add time bound goals to improve your sourcing from seafood rated 1-4 to 1-3? Try to source fish from local fishers or farms? Phase out plastic, or carry out a local beach clean? There are many ways to help our oceans and communities that rely on them, get in touch to find out more.

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Keen to promote your work? Join us as a business member.