What’s Going On Here?
UK mackerel, once considered a sustainable option for fish-eaters, has been stripped of its sustainable status after years of overfishing.
What Does This Mean?
The Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) came to the decision after a huge drop in mackerel stocks. According to The International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES), stocks have dropped over 2 million tonnes in the past 8 years, from a high of nearly 5 million 2011.
Currently, mackerel accounts for around one-third of seafood landed in the UK, generating over £200m.
The MSC has said that catches need to be cut by over two-thirds for the next two years for stocks to recover – but many European nations have already set fishing quotas well above this guidance.
The good news? A new EU policy from 2020 will mean EU nationals legally have to set more sustainable quotas. Whether the UK decides to follow suit is another question! (Some people think we won’t…)
Why Should We Care?
Last year we wrote about the world’s fishing footprint, and reported that 55% of the oceans are being used for industrial fishing. Put simply, we are running out of fish.
We also recommended that our lovely curious.readers bought mackerel, as a more sustainable alternative to cod and plaice! In just 12 months mackerel has gone from yay to nay – pretty alarming, eh?! Showing how quickly over-consumption (be it fish, crops, coal, water) has an impact.
So what can you do? We’ve found some tasty alternatives to ‘re-plaice’ your fish and accompany your chips and mushy peas. We love the sound of:
- This veggie fish and chips recipe from the RNLI
- This vegan beer battered tofu fish and chips from Veganuary
And don’t worry about missing out on omega-3 – it’s also found in chia seeds, walnuts, edamame and kidney beans!