Fish forms an important part of our diet and we should be eating at least two portions a week including one of oily fish. The Food Standards Agency is committed to taking sustainability into account when it makes policy decisions and issues its advice.
The Agency’s goal is to work towards food safety and healthy eating for all (food safety and healthy eating together form what is known as one of the ‘pillars’ of sustainability – the social pillar). At the same time, the Agency strives to maximise the effect of its policies on the other aspects of sustainability: the ‘economic’ and ‘environmental’ pillars.
More information on the Agency’s approach to sustainable development, and the social, economic and environmental ‘pillars’ of sustainability, can be found at the link below.
Many organisations deal with the production and sustainability of seafood. And because fish don’t recognise international boundaries, the issue itself is international. Some organisations make scientific assessments of fish stocks, others advise on production practices and managing fishing.
If you want to know more about these issues, you will find reports and other useful information on their websites. Here are some of the most significant organisations:
- The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) is the UK Government department that takes the lead on issues concerned with the marine and aquatic environment, including fish and fishing. They published the Government’s long-term vision on fish, which is mainly focused on England: 'Fisheries 2027'. More information can be found on the Defra website via the link below.
- Marine Scotland is the marine management organisation in Scotland. It was established 1 April 2009 as a Directorate of the Scottish Government to integrate core marine functions involving scientific research, compliance monitoring, policy and management of Scotland’s seas. It incorporates the organisation previously known as Fisheries Research Services. More information can be found on the Marine Scotland website via the link below.
- Scotland’s National Food and Drink Policy, which was launched in June 2009, aims to encourage consumers to make healthy and sustainable food and drink choice. More information on this and Scotland’s ‘Eat More Fish’ initiative and fish stock indicators can be found at the links below.
- The Centre for Environment, Fisheries & Aquaculture Science (Cefas) is an executive agency of Defra and an international scientific research and advisory centre working in fisheries management, environmental protection and aquaculture. The Cefas website can be found via the links below.
- The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) regularly publishes a review of fish stocks around the world. You can read more about the issue and the FAO’s report, published in 2009, via the link below.
- The International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES) provides advice on the status of fish and shellfish stocks in the North Atlantic Ocean. Information is collected by marine scientists in ICES member countries. Detailed information can be found on its website via the link below.