British consumers looking to purchase fish sustainably can't always rely on the product labels.
According to the New Consumer Guide to Eco-labels, a variety of private fish certification programs claim to offer reliable standards, labeling their products as environmentally friendly and sustainably produced but fail to provide information such as where the fish was caught. Additionally, some critics of the labeling are skeptical as to what the term "sustainable" implies in reference to fish.
"What is meant by 'sustainable' fish changes all the time, depending on stocks, the environment and which pressure group you listen to," said Andrew Opie, food director at the British Retail Consortium, to the BBC. "A raft of different interpretations among environmentalists lies behind much of the confusion, not the labeling provided by supermarkets."
The BRC stands by the fact that retailers offer up as much information as possible in regards to fish labeling. However, the Marine Conservation Society claims such labeling needs to feature more information than just where the fish was caught, details about its species and the method used to catch it.