Publicado por: pongpesca | 2009/11/27

Widen choice to save fish stocks, supermarkets told

“Avoid cod, plaice, swordfish and ling while stocking gurnard, pollock and mussels, says Marine Conservation Society.

Shoppers encouraged to eat wider range of fish

A fish counter at a Sainsbury’s in London. The supermarket chain supplies about 20% of fish retailed in Britain. Photograph: PA

Supermarkets could be doing more to help the environment and boost Britain’s dwindling fish stocks by offering consumers a wider variety of fish and seafood, according to a report published today.

The Marine Conservation Society (MCS) also recommends that retailers should refuse to use North Sea cod, plaice from the western Channel, swordfish and ling in own-brand products. These are on the charity’s list of fish to avoid on sustainability grounds.

The society urges supermarkets to sell more seafood which has not been overfished, including gurnard, pollock and mussels, while improving labelling and information for customers.

While eight supermarket chains have improved their policies on sourcing sustainable fish since the last survey in 2007, a further seven failed to respond, which the MCS said was “deeply disappointing”. The survey rates the stores on a number of measures, including sourcing and labelling.

The Co-operative chain leads the way, hailed for having eliminated all the MCS’s fish to avoid from own-brand products, and having the largest percentage of sales from the fish to eat list in the society’s Good Fish Guide. Marks & Spencer, Morrisons, Sainsbury’s and Waitrose also performed strongly, praised for having clear policies on sustainability. Aldi, Booths, Budgens, Farmoods, Lidl, Netto and Spar did not respond.

Sam Wilding, the society’s fisheries officer, said: “In European waters, nearly nine-tenths of fish stocks are overfished. Supermarkets supply 80% of the seafood sold in the UK. Both consumers and retailers can help stop the overfishing crisis if supermarkets supply their customers with sustainably sourced seafood. MCS wants all Britain’s major supermarkets to use a sustainable seafood sourcing policy and provide their customers with good information on sustainable seafood choice.”

The society said it had worked closely with retailers on sustainable sourcing but called on them to sell more from the fish to eat list while eliminating the fish to avoid and improving labelling.

Wilding said: “The supermarkets included in this survey are trying harder than ever before to put sustainability at the heart of their sourcing. MCS was very disappointed that seven retailers did not respond and finds their reluctance to take part difficult to understand given that the survey celebrates the progress made by supermarkets in supplying sustainable seafood.”

Ally Dingwall, the aquaculture and fisheries manager of Sainsbury’s, which sells more fish than any other retailer, said: “This survey shows that we are the best of the major supermarkets when it comes to responsible sourcing of fish. We sell around 20% of the fresh and frozen fish consumed in the UK, so any positive changes we make can have a huge impact on our oceans.

“There are further improvements in the pipeline, which will make it even easier for our customers to shop ethically.”

A spokeswoman for Waitrose said: “We are entirely supportive of the MCS and their work to further sustainability – we are the only retailer that is an MCS Oceans 25 ambassador. We believe it’s a real shame that almost half of retailers failed to respond to the MCS – it’s essential the industry works together on these issues if we are to ensure a future for global fish stocks.”

A spokesman for Aldi, which did not respond to the survey, said: “We already sell a range of fish from Marine Stewardship Council-approved sustainable fisheries and are looking at sourcing fresh and frozen fish from other sustainable sources.

“Aldi is committed to responsible sourcing and continues to review and update policies in line with global best practice and in association with independent organisations. We’ll be publishing our policies in 2010 to clearly demonstrate our continued progress as a responsible grocery retailer.”

Fonte: The Guardian – 26 de Novembro de 2009

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