Good Fish Guide ratings downgrade seabass

The latest UK Good Fish Guide ratings have added seabass from the Southern Bay of Biscay to the red rated ‘Fish to Avoid’ list. The move comes after increasing concern for local dolphin and harbour porpoise populations.

The dolphin and porpoise populations are being accidentally caught by boats using static nets and pelagic trawls that are fishing for seabass in the area.

Thousands of dolphins and porpoises have been killed as bycatch in the Southern Bay of Biscay over the years. The problem is so severe that local populations may soon disappear completely from the area, says a statement from the Marine Conservation Society.

Charlotte Coombes, Good Fish Guide Manager, said: “When you hear the term ‘dolphin friendly’ it’s most likely you think of tins of tuna. But why do we reserve our interest in dolphin friendly seafood for just tuna? By checking how seafood is caught, and getting familiar with different catch methods, you can ensure that all of your seafood is dolphin friendly, with or without the logo!”

A lot of seabass consumed in the UK is actually farmed, which is a better choice than many wild-caught options. Even so, there is no green rated ‘Best Choice’ for seabass, wild or farmed.

Scallops may prove to be a better choice: farmed King and Queen scallops have been added onto the green rated, ‘Best Choice’ list. Dover sole from the eastern English Channel and the Irish Sea also join the green rated list.

Photo credit: phhesse vie Flickr / Creative Commons

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