A New No-No for Diners: Mackerel
Once-sustainable species now overfished
By Matt Cantor, Newser User
Posted Jan 22, 2013 10:39 AM CST
Mackerel is no longer a "fish to eat," say conservationists.   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – Mackerel has long been considered a sustainable choice for seafood eaters—but no more. Now, top UK conservationists have taken it off their "fish to eat" list due to overfishing, the Guardian reports. "The total catch is now far in excess of what has been scientifically recommended," says a Marine Conservation Society officer. Scientists say fishermen shouldn't catch more than 542,000 metric tons per year; in 2011, some 930,000 metric tons were caught.

As the MCS explains, Atlantic mackerel populations have moved north toward Iceland and the Faroe Islands, ostensibly in pursuit of their prey. That's led those two countries to bump up their fishing quotas, sparking a three-way feud with the UK over catch allowances. Diners should treat themselves to the omega-3-rich fish only occasionally, the MCS says, and in those cases buy mackerel that is "caught locally using traditional methods—including handlines, ringnets, and drift nets" or from special sustainable suppliers.

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Showing 3 of 41 comments
JoeQ
Jan 22, 2013 5:20 PM CST
If you want another tasty fish to try you can't beat a drum.
gomer99
Jan 22, 2013 3:18 PM CST
In 1994-96, I was in the US Peace Corps in Micronesia. Some of the most beautiful people and areas on the planet. Surrounded by bountiful seas FULL of fish, shellfish, and other food. Centuries of history and culture of fishing. But...... They sat on their asses, spent US Government checks on sugared condensed milk and canned mackerel......virtually never fished......and were hugely overweight with a 60+ percent diabetic rate. Many lessons learned.......
EugeneDebs
Jan 22, 2013 1:46 PM CST
And this is why I am in the process of raising my own mealworms for food. People laugh and are disgusted, but they'll be organic, easy to raise, sustainable, inexpensive and nutritious. I'm not joking. But I do wish I hadn't told my co-workers about my plans. :/