The Scottish Fishermen’s Federation has hit out the MSC’s “Good Fish Guide”
The Scottish Fishermen’s Federation has hit out the Marine Conservation Society’s “Good Food Guide” saying that it does not hide its dislike of mobile fishing such as trawling.
Commenting on the publication of the Marine Conservation Society’s “Good Fish Guide”, Elspeth Macdonald, chief executive of the Scottish Fishermen’s Federation, said:
“The Marine Conservation Society (MCS) doesn’t hide its dislike of mobile fishing such as trawling, so its new ratings on species such as monkfish don’t surprise the fishing industry – they are what we have come to expect from an organisation that would prefer that wild capture fishing didn’t exist, and campaigns endlessly to end what is a legitimate and highly regulated means of food production.
“Through dialogue the SFF has tried to gain a better understanding of the process that MCS uses to generate its ratings. What has become clear over time is the lack of transparency by MCS and their resistance for the catching sector to observe their process. If their process is robust and would stand up to scrutiny, then why are they not open to challenge?
“The MCS ratings are based on information cherry-picked to suit their narrative. On monkfish, our industry fishes in line with ICES advice which already has a precautionary filter as it is classed as a data limited stock. The MCS rating is based on a tiny snap-shot from a much longer time series of data, showing that the monkfish stock is only fractionally below the long-term average and that action is being taken to improve the science and data that is needed for better understanding.
“Scottish fish stocks are well managed. There has been a steady upwards trend in sustainable fishing over the last 30 years by an industry committed to this for the long term. Yes, there is more to do, but to demonise our industry and provide misleading information to the public is both unfair and unwarranted. Through their actions, MCS risk driving consumers towards foods that have a much greater environmental impact than low-emission, healthy and sustainable wild caught fish.
“And in providing ‘advice’ to the public that is misleading and is impacting on businesses operating entirely within the law, MCS will want to consider both the reputational and legal risks that brings.”