Wednesday 5 April 2023

There could be no more mackerel on your plates

There could be no more mackerel on your plates

Overfishing is seeing mackerel populations drop significantly – no longer making them a sustainable fish to eat.

That’s according to the Marine Conservation Society (MCS), which is calling for new rules to regulate how it’s caught and how many can be fished.

North-east Atlantic mackerel has previously been marked as a sustainable fish to eat but has seen the population decline in the last eight years.

Charlotte Coombes from the MCS said: “Fishing communities and wildlife depend on this species but continued overfishing is putting both at risk.”

In its latest report of different fish, it rates fish based on whether they are fine to eat or whether they are ‘fish to avoid.’

The UK, Iceland and Norway fish the most mackerel, with the fish accounting for 32% of all the UK’s catches for 2021.

This saw 220,000 tonnes caught – worth £240 million.

The MCS claims the issue is that these nations heavily fishing mackerel are not working together to determine how much each should be allowed to take from the sea, with no set quotas.

Tuna, whales and dolphins are some of the species that rely on mackerel to survive – so the not-for-profit is worried this overfishing could be detrimental to their numbers as well.

Alongside mackerel, cod and eels were two other species the MCS deemed to be in danger of overfishing.

Written by

Bruna Pinhoni

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