Fish Features

Fish fingers score top marks for sustainability

Fish finger manufacturers are packing their products full of sustainable fish yet are not doing enough to inform buyers about where that fish is from, according to an investigation by the Marine Conservation Society (MCS).

In a review of 48 retailer own-brand and branded fingers, 85% were found to come from sustainable sources with some saver brands turning out to be the most sustainable. The 48 fish fingers investigated contained just four different species - Atlantic cod, Pacific cod, Alaska pollock and haddock.

Despite the efforts of manufacturers to source sustainably, the MCS found that 23% of the fish fingers it looked at lacked any kind of ecolabel, sustainability information or enough detail about how and where the fish were caught, and 40% didn’t have a credible ecolabel. Just 19% of fish finger packs were found to have enough detailed information on the pack for consumers to know how and where the fish was caught.  

While most of the supermarkets and brands investigated were forthcoming with providing the information regarding the origins of the fish within their fish fingers, MCS Sustainable Seafood Advocate Rajina Gurung says that in the absence of a credible ecolabel, like the Marine Stewardship Council tick on the pack, it’s hard for consumers to make informed choices, adding: “Consumers may not be aware that the majority of fish in retail own brand and branded fish fingers actually comes from sustainable sources.”

Unlike unprocessed seafood – fish that isn’t canned, mixed or breaded - there is no legal requirement for brands and retailers to put details of the origins of the fish used in processed seafood on the pack.  

Top 13 Best Choice Green Rated fish fingers (Rated 1 using the MCS Good Fish Guide)  

• Asda smart price fish fingers 
• Asda omega-3 fish fingers 
• Co-op omega-3 fish fingers 
• Iceland breaded fish fingers 
• Marks & Spencer gluten free cod fish fingers 
• Morrisons omega-3 fish fingers 
• Morrisons savers fish fingers 
• Sainsbury’s cod fillet fish fingers 
• Sainsbury’s “deliciously free from” cod fish fingers 
• Tesco omega-3 fish fingers 
• Waitrose essential cod fish fingers 
• Waitrose essential chunky cod fillet fingers in breadcrumbs 
• Young’s omega-3 fish fingers 

Read the summary of each retailer by clicking here


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