fish seafood counter

Over 80% of seafood sold in UK supermarkets is now labelled and sourced responsibly, according to a new study.

A Sustainable Seafood Coalition (SSC) report published this week, found that responsible sourcing was up from 68% in 2011 - when a study by environmental law firm ClientEarth claimed supermarkets including Tesco, Asda, Sainsbury’s and Marks & Spencer were potentially misleading customers with sustainability claims.

The SSC’s new study found that 17% of sustainability claims made on labels by brands and retailers could now be potentially misleading, compared with 32% in 2011.

It is the first independent review of SSC members’ labelling and sourcing, and comes two years after businesses signed up to the SSC responsible labelling and sourcing codes.

Out of these members, the report found that 97%, including major retailers and seafood brands, were following best practice. This compared to 85% in businesses that did not belong to the SSC.

However, the report made several recommendations for SSC members to improve their labelling, including better on-pack and online consumer information; better contact details for sustainability enquiries; and the availability of their responsible sourcing approach online.

“As more and more shops label and source seafood responsibly, customers can have faith that the products they buy are truly sustainable,” said Katie Miller, sustainable seafood project lead at ClientEarth.

“Now other industry players - from chip shops to restaurant chains and school canteens - must step up to make sure the fish they sell is responsible sourced and clearly labelled.”