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Mackerel back on the Fish to Eat list

16 May 2013
European and Norwegian mackerel have been classified as a yellow three, while mackerel caught by Icelandic and Faroese trawlers has been classified as a red four

European and Norwegian mackerel have been classified as a yellow three, while mackerel caught by Icelandic and Faroese trawlers has been classified as a red four

The Marine Conservation Society (MCS) has upgraded European and Norwegian mackerel to a yellow ‘three’ rating on its Fish to Eat List, meaning people can eat it occasionally without endangering the species.

Mackerel caught by Icelandic and Faroese trawlers has been classified as a red four, which means people should avoid eating it.

The Scottish Pelagic Processors Association (SPPA), which represents all major Scottish mackerel processors, has welcomed this announcement, and says it has been campaigning for recognition of the sustainable fishing practices employed by European and Norwegian fleets since mackerel was downgraded in January this year.

Francis Clark, Board Member of the SPPA, said: “We welcome today’s decision by the MCS to reclassify mackerel caught by members of the European and Norwegian fleet in recognition of our commitment to work together to safeguard the long-term sustainability of the stock.

“As part of MINSA (Mackerel Industry Northern Sustainability Alliance) we are working with the International Council for the Exploration of the Seas and a number of scientific bodies to better understand stock levels. Last year all member countries agreed to reduce our quota by 15 per cent in line with advice.”

Francis Clark also said the SPPA’s aim is to make sure people across the UK have access to the most sustainable sources of mackerel available, so that they can benefit from the health benefits of oily fish.

Mackerel is worth £324 million to the UK economy and supports over 2,200 jobs.

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European and Norwegian mackerel have been classified as a yellow three, while mackerel caught by Icelandic and Faroese trawlers has been classified as a red four

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