© Peter Duncan

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 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
Rating 1 (dark green) is associated with the most sustainably produced seafood.

Rating 2 - Best Choice
Rating 2 (pale green) is still a good choice, although some aspects of its production or management could be improved

Rating 3
Rating 3 Fisheries with a rating of 3 (yellow) should probably not be considered entirely sustainable at this time. These fisheries or production methods are likely to require improvements in either stock levels or management practices and some (significant) uncertainty may surround their production. We recommend that you eat 3 rated fish only occasionally and check this website for specific details.

Rating 4
Rating 4 Fisheries (seafood) with a rating of 4 (orange) are some way from being sustainable at this time. These fisheries or farming methods are likely to have a number of significant environmental issues and uncertainties associated with their production and we recommend that you eat these only very occasionally. Ideally seek alternatives where you can. We would like to see improvements made to these sources which address the specific issues of concern.

Rating 5 - Fish to Avoid
Rating 5 (red) is associated with fish to be avoided (or improved by businesses) on the basis that some or all of the following applies to the species:

Winter Ratings Consultation

Following the release of the latest scientific advice, and as part of our normal Winter update, MCS is consulting on proposed seafood ratings for many different fisheries and aquaculture farming types. 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. To comment, please download the linked spreadsheet (3 worksheets with different species) and complete the indicated column for ratings of interest.

Please send your completed spreadsheet back to ratings@mcsuk.org along with any supporting information and your contact details.

We welcome feedback until midnight 16th January 2018.


Actions you can take

  1. Download our Wild Capture Ratings Methodology .pdf
  2. Download our LATEST Wild Capture Ratings Methodology (October 2017 onwards)
  3. Download Our Introduction to Seafood Ratings
  4. Download Aquaculture Ratings Methodology .pdf
  5. Download our guide showing how fish are caught
  6. View the Good Fish Guide online
  7. Download our guide showing how fish are farmed

Did you know?…

MCS launched the Good Fish Guide in 2001 to help people make good seafood choices

6,500 fishing boats in the UK catch up to 150 different species, but most people in the UK only eat 5

21.7 million tonnes of wild caught fish are not for people to eat; almost 75% of this is to feed farmed fish

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!

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