It's hard to know what fish are okay to eat these days. Consult the MCS’s Good Fish Guide and it seems like choosing the most sustainable fish (green) and avoiding the worst (red) requires a marine biology degree. Per capita fish consumption has been on the rise since the 1960s – when it averaged 9.9kg – to over 20kg in 2014. Swap for: Farmed Arctic char, ideally from the UK, or farmed rainbow trout. More than 70 per cent of cod and 76 per cent of haddock eaten in the UK is now MSC labelled, so sustainable options are readily available if you look for it. But according to Charlotte Coombes, the MCS’s Good Fish Guide Manager, wild sea bass is not caught this way in British waters and can be an OK choice (although still not recommended – farmed sea bass is better). “If you say you shouldn’t eat anything from a beam trawler, you’re suggesting something that’s unattainable,” Tonks says. “If we start to think that all our fish will come from guys going to sea with a pipe and a yellow raincoat, it’s not going to happen.”, Whether we like it or not, Tonks argues, beam trawlers are a long-established part of the British fishing fleet and are responsible for catching 90 per cent of the fish landed at Brixham and Newlyn, two of Britain’s biggest fish markets. Monterey Bay Aquarium's Seafood Watch guides provide at-a-glance info on which fish is relatively abundant (okay to eat) and which species are overfished (need to avoid). There are many reasons to feel good about eating oysters, and sustainability is just one of them. There are more than 40,000 MSC certified sustainable fish and seafood products on sale around the world. Very very cheap, get them fresh and baste in garlic oils over the hot coals in summer . Swap for: handline-caught mackerel (caught in the South West is best, but any UK-caught mackerel is good). Haddock from UK seas as well as Iceland and the Northeast Arctic is sustainable. “I appreciate it’s complicated,” Coombes concedes. Sustainability depends on the species, location and fishing methods. Look for the blue MSC label Below you can find facts, recipes and more for some favourite fish species. “The British fishing fleet is well managed and sticks to strict controls, such as quotas and numbers of days at sea,” says Tonks, who is a pioneer of locally caught seafood. You can also use their handy iPhone app to get seafood recommendations. Can be sustainable depending on the species and where and how they were caught or farmed. Savvy swaps and handy labels to look out for on your favourite seafood. Farmed Oysters. To ensure the mackerel you buy is from the most sustainable fisheries, look for handline or drift net fisheries. Choose organic, MSC or ASC labels. Sign our petition to tell GrubHub to take shark fin off the menu now – before the ocean’s most iconic predators disappear. “But asking someone in a fishmonger’s, fish and chip shop or restaurant where and how the fish was caught will highlight to them how important it is for customers to feel reassured their seafood is sustainable.”. We rely on advertising to help fund our award-winning journalism. We urge you to turn off your ad blocker for The Telegraph website so that you can continue to access our quality content in the future. Once upon a time, we chose seafood according to what we fancied or could afford, with little thought for sustainability. Tonks urges consumers to choose fish carrying the “blue tick” eco-label, which is only applied to sustainable seafood certified to the Marine Stewardship Council Fisheries Standard, for which he is an ambassador. Whether you vow to buy British seafood, opt for blue-tick-labelled fish or swot up on fishing techniques, every small effort can lead to changes for the better, Coombes says. Pout, like Pollock is in the Cod family, so has a firm white flesh without bones in the fillet. Please review our, You need to be a subscriber to join the conversation. Cooking mackerel: A fatty fish, mackerel can be prepared by broiling fillets or roasting the whole fish until fork-tender. A great way to get involved in protecting #oceans: Join Oceana as a Wavemaker & sound off on important issues! Sign up today to get weekly updates and alerts from Oceana. They also flag types of seafood that contain levels of mercury or PCBs that pose a health As the global population continues to grow, the need for sustainable and healthy protein sources is key and seafood will play an important role. “When people do sit up, pay attention to this stuff and make the right choices, it can make all the difference.”. The best farmed seafood options carry the Aquaculture Stewardship Council label. We now know better. Beam trawling, for example, involves dragging nets suspended from heavy beams along the seabed. That’s because it’s not just the species that’s important; you need to know where and how the fish is caught. Sardines, think BBQ's in the sun in the Mediterranean. Although current U.S. aquaculture production is small and lags behind the rest of the world, U.S. fish farms operate under some of the world’s most robust environmental protections, producing environmentally safe, sustainable sources of domestic seafood, creating jobs, supporting resilient working waterfronts and coastal communities, and providing international trade opportunities. Resources from our world’s oceans are not as unlimited as we once thought. Many restaurants, fishmongers and fish-and-chip shops also sell MSC-certified seafood, so it’s a good idea to ask before you buy. Dover Sole from the Bristol Channel and western English Channel are booming. Organic and Scottish ASC-certified farmed salmon is the better choice. The Marine Conservation Society estimates 90 per cent of fish stocks globally are fully or overexploited, with sea life under added pressure from climate change and pollution. Swap for: rope-grown mussels or farmed oysters, which don’t need any feed or chemicals and get all they need from the sea. But fear not, we have resources to help.Seafood Watch Guide Monterey Bay Aquarium's Seafood Watch guides provide at-a-glance info on which fish is relatively abundant (okay to eat) and which species are overfished (need to avoid). We have already protected nearly 4 million square miles of ocean and innumerable sea life - but there is still more to be done. Chef Mitch Tonks, who runs the Seahorse restaurant in Dartmouth and the Rockfish chain of restaurants in the South West, believes we can make good seafood choices by following a simple premise: buy fish caught by British fishermen.