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 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 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:
- Its’s highly vulnerable to over-exploitation and/or assessed by the World Conservation Union (IUCN) as threatened;
- from overfished stocks and/or stocks where data is deficient;
- from poorly managed or unregulated fisheries or fish farms; or it’s
- caught or farmed using methods which are detrimental to other marine species and habitat
Aquaculture Methodology Consultation
This year the current Marine Conservation Society (MCS) methodology for assessing the sustainability of farmed species is six years old.
Given a number of developments including: the widespread proliferation and uptake of independent production standards for farmed species; developments in feed formulations; and other changing best management practices, MCS considers it appropriate and timely to invite views on proposed changes and additions to our methodology.
Please send your feedback and any queries to email@example.com
We welcome any feedback until midnight Friday 22nd June 2018.
Actions you can take
- Download Aquaculture Ratings Methodology .pdf
- Download Our Introduction to Seafood Ratings
- Download our Wild Capture Ratings Methodology .pdf
- Download our LATEST Wild Capture Ratings Methodology (October 2017 onwards)
- Download our guide showing how fish are farmed
- View the Good Fish Guide online
- Download our guide showing how fish are caught
Did you know?…
21.7 million tonnes of wild caught fish are not for people to eat; almost 75% of this is to feed farmed fish
A estimated £1.1 billion is spent on fish and chips every year in the UK
In the UK we eat 486,000 tonnes of seafood a year, which is 8.2kg per person
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
Help protect 40% of English seas
Let the government know they must protect our ocean and marine wildlife before it’s too late.