The sustainability of retail fish fingers are not as bad as may be thought, according to the Marine Conservation Society (MCS).
The MCS’ Good Fish Finger Guide reveals that the majority of fish in 48 retail own-brand and branded fingers it investigated came from sustainable green rated ‘Best Choice’ sources when the Good Fish Guide ratings were applied to the fish ingredient.
Unlike unprocessed seafood – fish that isn’t canned, mixed or breaded – there is no legal requirement for brands and retailers to put details of the origins of the fish used in processed seafood on the pack.
The Guide aims to raise awareness of the origins and sustainability of fish fingers and better engage consumers to follow its wider seafood advice. It shows that 85% of the fish in the 48 retailer own-brand and branded fingers investigated were found to come from sustainable sources, yet there is little information to highlight this to customers.
“Some saver brands even turned out to be the most sustainable, showing that you do not have to pay a fortune for sustainability,” said MCS sustainable seafood advocate, Rajina Gurung.
“The 48 fish fingers we investigated contained just four different species – Atlantic cod, Pacific cod, Alaska pollock and haddock – which might come as quite a surprise to many consumers who see fish fingers as a mix of unspecified species in breadcrumbs… even barely fish at all!”
MCS says that 23% of the fish fingers it looked at lacked any kind of ecolabel such as the Marine Stewardship Council certification, sustainability information or enough detail about how and where the fish were caught, and 40% didn’t have a credible ecolabel.