Mackerel removed from sustainable fish list amid fishing row

Iceland fish

Conservationists have taken mackerel off the list of sustainable fish species amid overfishing and international political turmoil regarding fishing quotas.

Officials from the Marine Conservation Society (MCS) said in a statement on Tuesday that the species should no longer be a ‘go-to’ fish of choice, and should now be eaten less often and sourced from local fisherman where possible. Both sardines and herring were listed a good alternatives.

The news comes as Iceland and the Faroe Islands have come under heavy fire in recent years from European fishing economies for taking larger shares of the oily fish from territorial waters amid changing migration patterns.

MCS fisheries officer Bernadette Clarke told the AFP, “The stock has moved into Icelandic and Faroese waters, probably following their prey of small fish, crustaceans and squid. As a result, both countries have begun to fish more mackerel than was previously agreed. The total catch is now far in excess of what has been scientifically recommended and previously agreed upon by all participating countries.”