Our fish ratings
Each of the fish included on the MCS websites have been given a rating to enable you to quickly identify species that are considered to be the most sustainably produced, and those species which are not.
Green rated Fish, ‘Best Choice’, are rated 1 and 2, and red rated fish, ‘Fish to Avoid’, are Rated 5.
The rating system has been developed by the Marine Conservation Society as advice for choosing the most environmentally sustainable fish.
Rating 1 - Best Choice
Indicates the most sustainably caught or farmed fish.
Rating 2 - Good Choice
Indicates sustainably caught or responsibly farmed fish.
Rating 3 - OK
Indicates fish which are an OK choice, but require some improvements.
Rating 4 - Requires Improvement
Indicates fish which are some way from being sustainably caught or farmed and require significant improvements. We recommend that you seek alternatives where you can.
Rating 5 - Improver
Indicates fish which have been assessed and rated 5 (red) due to significant environmental concerns yet credible efforts to improve the fishery or farming system have been agreed through a Fisheries or Aquaculture Improvement Project – a FIP or an AIP - and work is underway. Such projects are normally publicly listed at www.fisheryprogress.org. MCS wants to encourage environmental improvements in fisheries and fish farms, and so does not recommend avoiding these fish, as we normally do for seafood rated 5 (red rated), thus providing, we hope, an incentive for businesses to support credible improvement projects.
Rating 5 - Avoid
Indicates fish from the most unsustainable fisheries or farming systems. We recommend avoiding these fish (Or encourage businesses to establish a credible improvement project).
Twice a year, following the regular releases of scientific advice, MCS updates and consults on proposed changes to our seafood ratings. If you have an interest in our ratings and have technical insight and information that could contribute to the comprehensiveness and quality of these assessments, we welcome your input. The current (Winter 19/20) ratings consultation is live from Thursday 19th December 2019 until Friday 24th January 2020. To comment, please download this spreadsheet and complete the indicated column for ratings of interest.
Please note, there are 5 sheets in the workbook: farmed seafood, wild caught seafood, tuna and billfish, deletions, and one specifically for Cornish seafood maintained by the Cornwall Wildlife Trust.
Please send your completed sheets back to firstname.lastname@example.org along with any supporting information.
We welcome feedback until 5pm Friday 24th January 2020.
Actions you can take
- View the Good Fish Guide online
- View our previous ratings methodologies
- Download our LATEST Wild Capture Ratings Methodology (June 2018 onwards)
- Download Our Introduction to Seafood Ratings
- Download our latest Aquaculture Methodology Version 3 / 2018
Did you know?…
MCS launched the Good Fish Guide in 2001 to help people make good seafood choices
41% of North East Atlantic stocks including those around the UK are subject to overfishing
Over the last century, we have lost around 90% of the biggest predatory oceanic fish, such as tuna, swordfish and sharks
What's your impact on our seas?
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.
Make the right choice and reduce your impact - every purchase matters!See our top tips