Sea creature charity the Marine Conservation Society (MCS) has announced today that haddock from the North Sea and West Scotland is no longer on their list of sustainable fish that it's OK to eat.
After advice from scientists, three haddock fisheries were removed from The Good Fish Guide (yep, that's a thing), which could cause a crisis in Scottish fish and chip shops where it's the default option.
The change is due to declining numbers, says Good Fish Guide Manager (dream job) Bernadette Clarke:
“These ratings changes have come about because scientific perception of the stock has changed.
Compared to 2015, the stock numbers in 2016 were below the recommended level and at the point where action is now needed to increase the number of fish of breeding age.”
Haddock is one of the UK's 'Big 5' fish, which also includes cod, prawns, salmon and tuna.
There is some good news, however: lots of scampi fisheries had improved ratings, though the nephrops – as it's properly called, FYI – is still not considered sustainable. The American lobster is also becoming more common, though the MCS says to choose Marine Stewardship Council (MSC – this is getting confusing) approved specimens.
In short, if you're having fish and chips tonight, don't have North Sea or West Scottish haddock. Instead, have one of the many Fish Of The Month for March, including rainbow trout, turbot or tilapia. Or, I dunno, have pasta. It's easier. [MCS via BBC]
Main image: Annie Mole via Flickr CC