4 Nov 2009

Sustainable seafood guide nonsense, says industry

9:56 am on 4 November 2009

A ranking system encouraging consumers to buy more ecologically sustainable fish is nonsense, according to the Seafood Industry Council.

The Best Fish Guide released on Tuesday by the Royal Forest and Bird Protection Society is designed to encourage responsible fishing practices and recommends consumers avoid popular catches such as snapper and scallops.

The guide shows tarakihi, moki and kina are among the more sustainable choices of seafood, while hoki, orange roughy and scallops are considered unsustainable.

Forest & Bird's marine conservation advocate Kirstie Knowles says the fishing industry is responding to consumer pressure.

Seafood Industry Council chief executive Owen Symmans says the Fisheries Minister already looks at species deemed to be at risk, and assesses any environmental impacts.

When fisheries have been in difficulty, catches have been reduced and other measures put in place, he says, so it is nonsense to say specific fish should be avoided.