Aldi Recognized As Top British Market For Sustainable Fish

The Marine Stewardship Council revealed their list of top British supermarkets offering sustainable seafood, and Aldi tops the list with Sainsbury's and Lidl. In general, there's been a 60 percent increase in certified fish products being offered.


May 20 2019, Updated 4:16 p.m. ET

Aldi offers the most sustainable seafood when compared to other British supermarkets. A survey from the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) found that 79 percent of their stocked fish items were properly sourced. According to The Guardian, there’s also a 60 percent rise in supermarkets in general when offering sustainable fish.

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MSC marks seafood that’s “certified sustainable” with a blue sticker and their trademark logo. This means that the fish was able to be traced back to the source and sustainable farming practices were used to catch them. Illegal fishing can take place when there’s overcatching, bycatching, or harmful methods that can affect their habitat.

Aldi has been one of the more progressive supermarkets when selling fish that’s been sustainably sourced in the past year. They surpassed Sainsbury’s, which had 225 MSC-certified products as of last February, representing around 76 percent of its seafood offerings. Rounding out the top five are Lidl (72%), Waitrose (67%), and the Co-op (61%).

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“The majority of British supermarkets are making a real investment in the future of their seafood” Toby Middleton, MSC’s head of market operations, told The Guardian. “If you’re buying MSC-labelled fish or seafood in one of these top five supermarkets, you’re helping to make a positive difference to the world’s oceans.”

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One notable supermarket that’s offering slightly less than 40 percent of certified sustainable seafood is Asda. While they are lower on the list, they’ve had the biggest improvement in the past year, jumping from 17 products to 52. Checking in at the bottom are Iceland and Morrisons with only five percent of their seafood offerings being sustainable.

Some controversy surrounding MSC-certified products. Activist groups like the World Wildlife Fund believe that there needs to be reform as the group expands. They believe they’re letting more illegal activity slide in the certification process and want them to add regulations such as a five-year time limit for certification and 24/7 access to tracking data.

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The MSC isn’t the only certification used for sustainable fishing, but it’s one of the leaders. Supermarkets like Waitrose note that nearly 90 percent of their seafood is sustainable with other third-party sources such as Responsible Fisheries Management.

In the United States, Aldi has also been committed to sustainable farming practices with seafood. Along with Best Aquaculture Practices, certification from them and the MSC can be found on over half of their fish products. Back in 2012, the company collaborated with the Sustainable Fisheries Partnership to improve their farming methods.

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