Marine charity gives sustainable seafood shoppers a fishmonger in their pocket

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Restaurants to recipes, sustainability to seasonality in a simple to use App 

The Marine Conservation Society (MCS), the UK charity which works to ensure consumers, restaurants and food industry buyers only choose fish from sustainable sources has released its most informative seafood App yet and says it hopes the simple advice will clarify what, for many, is a highly complex issue.

The Good Fish Guide App (free on both iPhone and android) is a great catch for anyone who wants to make sure the fish they are buying comes from sustainable fisheries – where stocks are either holding their own or increasing.

“Making sure the fish you are buying is as sustainable as possible, in season and big enough to have reproduced makes the whole issue a bit of a minefield. Many fishmongers and fish counter staff have some of the information customers require, but not all. The Good Fish Guide mobile app has all the answers right at your finger tips. Whilst looking at fish on the counter you can, with a few taps and swipes, be sure your fish supper is as sustainable as possible,” says Bernadette Clarke, MCS Good Fish Guide Programme Manager.

The App lists fish alongside their MCS Fish to Eat or Fish to Avoid rating – red, green or amber (eat only occasionally).

The main role of the MCS Fish to Eat and Avoid lists, which can also be found at www.goodfishguide.org, is to identify for consumers fish from currently healthy fisheries or farms, the fish to eat, and the fisheries consumers should be avoiding, the one’s that are overfished and poorly managed.  By changing its ratings in line with the latest International Council for the Exploration of the Sea stock and other advice, MCS tries to ensure through public awareness that consumers make the right choices and popular species don’t drop to worryingly low levels.

But there’s far more to choosing sustainable fish and now the App boasts regular contributions of new seafood recipes from top chefs and celebrities. The recipe is displayed so the fish chosen are always in season and rated 1-3. There’s also a size guide to help people spot immature fish that are being sold before they’ve had a chance to breed. And information on labelling will help you indentify the best eco-labels for fish and the information retailers and fishmongers need to be supplying to allow consumers to make informed choices.

Diners can find restaurants that claim to have great sustainable credentials on an easy to use map where MCS reveals what they think about the eatery’s sustainability along with the venue’s Fish 2 Fork sustainable seafood restaurant rating.

MCS sustainable seafood work is supported by players of People’s Postcode Lottery. Clara Govier, Head of Charities at People’s Postcode Lottery says “It is great to see a whole range of new resources giving people the power to make their own choices on which seafood to eat. The new App is really exciting, giving instant advice on what to eat and how to cook it, whether you’re shopping for the family in the supermarket or looking for a place to eat out. I’m delighted that players of People’s Postcode Lottery are able to support this initiative.”

For more information, see www.goodfishguide.org.

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