Fish fingers, saviours of the sea?

The Marine Conservation Society have found that they are the most sustainable fish product and cheapest too.

The fish finger was first launched in 1955, now more than one million Birds Eye fish fingers are sold every day.

85% of the fish used in supermarket own brand fish fingers and branded fingers come from sustainable sources according to their study.

Many shoppers go through a seafood minefield when it comes to deciding on what fish they should be buying if they want to eat sustainably.

Fish stock has plummeted due to climate change, pollution, habitat destruction, yet, fish farming is rapidly expanding to meet the globally high demands. If it is done badly it can exacerbate the ocean’s current issues.

Top marine scientists and oceanographers such as Sylvia Earle recommend stop eating fish altogether, which she discussed in her Ted Talk ‘My wish: Protect our oceans’. She said “We have seen such a sharp decline in the fish that we consume in my lifetime that I personally choose not to eat any”.

Seafood is still a top source of protein and good nutrients; according to the NHS, “A healthy diet should include at least 2 portions of fish a week, including 1 of oily fish.” 72% of UK adults do not know that it is recommended they eat two portions of fish a week, one of which should be oily, a study by HM Revenue & Customs found.

Almost a third of UK adults claim that it is the cost of fish that prevents them from eating more seafood. With the average price of fish fingers at £2.50, the omega-filled super soldiers are the heroes the UK public needed.

Rajina Gurung from the MCS produced a ‘Good Fish Finger Guide’ and rated fish fingers on how sustainable they were. Here are the top contenders:

  • Asda smart price fish fingers
  • Asda omega-3 fish fingers
  • Co-op omega-3 fish fingers
  • Iceland breaded fish fingers
  • Marks & Spencer gluten free cod fish fingers

The saver brands came out on top with higher-end brands like Waitrose lagging behind. Gurung told the BBC: “Some saver brands even turned out to be the most sustainable, showing that you do not have pay a fortune for sustainability.”

Words: Sorcha Gilheany

Subbing: Fiona Patterson

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