Almost all of the fish on the shelves of supermarkets are not from sustainable fishing, including cod, sole and sea bass, which are threatened by overfishing, according to a survey published Monday, December 17 by the UFC- What to choose. According to the consumer association, which conducted a survey of 1,134 large-scale fishmongers between January 20 and February 3, no less than 86% of fish sold in supermarkets are caught using unsustainable methods or in overfished stocks.
However, specifies the association in a press release, “88% of European fish stocks are currently overexploited or see their capacity to rebuild threatened, thus inducing a risk of stock collapse for particularly threatened species such as sea bass” .
The survey had a dual objective, emphasizes UFC-Que Choisir: to verify compliance with the mandatory information on fishing methods and capture areas and to analyze the results on the sustainability of the resources exploited, both in terms of fishing methods and catch areas.
“The result is unfortunately sadly final: mass distribution has no sustainable supply policy for the three species studied,” says the association.
The UFC-Que Choisir seizes the Repression of fraud
However, three quarters of the purchases of fresh fish and other seafood products by French consumers are made in supermarkets, according to a study by the FranceAgrimer institute dating from September 2018. In addition, continues the association, in two thirds of In this case, the mandatory information is “absent, fanciful or too vague”.
Thus, “with more than three out of four fish badly labeled, Intermarché won the prize, followed by System U and Leclerc who total respectively 76% and 67% of non-compliant labeling,” says UFC-Que Choisir.
Regarding the capture areas, the association noted vague references of the “Atlantic” or “Mediterranean” type: “however, in the absence of a precise maritime zone, we cannot identify the fish coming from overexploited stocks” , she believes. As for information on fishing methods, it is absent for one in four fish, specifies UFC-Que Choisir.
In view of the results of this survey, the association asks that the European Ministers of Fisheries align “strictly the future quotas on the recommendations issued by the experts of the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea” and that “the Regulatory labeling incorporates an explicit indicator of fish sustainability. It also announces that it is seizing the Repression of Fraud to carry out checks on compliance with regulatory labeling provisions.
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