MSC and SSF at odds about haddock

The MCS (Marine Conservation Society) have taken some haddock fisheries off its green list – but the SFF's (Scottish Fishermen’s Federation) representative accuse it of ‘dressing advocacy up as science’.

Haddock from three North Sea and west of Scotland fisheries have been removed from the MSC's recommended “green” list of fish to eat, after stocks fell below the acceptable levels in 2016.

According to the MCS, action has to be taken to increase the number of breeding age fish, which is one of the UK’s “big five” marine species eaten, alongside cod, tuna, salmon and prawns and they encourage people to ask for “green-certified” haddock – caught in the north-east Arctic and Iceland -, or eat fish on their green list such as coley, mackerel and hake.

Bertie Armstrong, chief executive of the SFF, said  “We have gone to enormous lengths to maintain fishing stocks, including haddock and we completely reject this [downgrade], it’s silly, it’s unhelpful and the public should ignore it as it is something of nothing, the MSC do it every year, it’s absolutely meaningless and counter-productive if anyone pays any notice.”

This appears to be a rather strange position to take given that the most recent EU quotas for haddock in the North Sea and waters West of Scotland were cut by 40%.

Is the SFF in total denial once again ?

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