The black bream is one of two species commonly found in northern European seas. It has sweet, firm flesh and is being found on more menus in eateries around the UK.
Choose line-caught fish where available, or fish taken in fixed nets where measures to deter marine mammals have been adopted. Avoid eating immature fish (less than 23cm) caught prior to and during their spawning season (April and May in UK inshore waters), so that they have the chance to spawn or reproduce. The most sustainable stocks are from Cornwall or north-west and northern Wales.
Gurnard (grey and red)
Gurnards belong to a group of fish known collectively as Trigliadae, or sea robins.
Grey gurnard are taken as by-catch in trawl fisheries in deeper offshore waters, but its firm flesh is considered to have a robust flavour. and they, along with yellow or tub, are under less pressure than red gurnard. Avoid eating immature fish (less than 24cm) and fresh (not previously frozen) fish caught during the spawning season (April-August).
The fishery for lemon sole is largely unregulated. Taken as by-catch in trawl fisheries. Only stocks in Norwegian and North Seas are subject to mixed quota restrictions. Choose otter-trawled fish landed in Cornwall where a minimum landing size (25 cms) above the size at which it matures is enforced. Avoid eating immature fish (below 25 cm) and during its breeding period April-August.
Mackerel is a fast-swimming species belonging to a group of fish known as the scombrid family, which are related to the tuna.
It’s an oily fish with a distinctive flavour. Stocks are healthy, except in the North Sea. You can increase the sustainability of the fish you eat by choosing line- or net-caught fish from fisheries certified by the MSC. Mackerel taken by handline is an even better choice as this method only targets mackerel.
A common flatfish found in shelf seas throughout the north-east Atlantic, megrim and the closely related witch are members of the sole family. Figures show that 90% of Britain’s megrim and witch catch is exported to the continent.
Choose megrim that is otter-trawled (where the mouth of the net remains open) from waters in the west of Ireland and the Western Channel where stock is classified as healthy. Avoid eating immature fish (less than 25cms) and during their spawning season (January to April).
Distributed throughout the north-east Atlantic, pollack is championed as the best substitute for cod and haddock.
It is a by-catch of cod and the best choice to make, in terms of selectivity and sustainability, is line-caught pollack. Avoid eating immature fish (below 50cm) and during its breeding season (January to April).
Whiting are a low-value species and often discarded in large quantities. The English Channel stock is currently the only stock assessed by marine scientists as having full reproductive capacity and being healthy. Avoid eating immature fish (less than 30 cms), and fresh (not previously frozen) fish caught during the spawning season (March-April).