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Different Fish to Fry: McDonalds to Serve Sustainable Fish in Europe

Different Fish to Fry: McDonalds to Serve Sustainable Fish in Europe

Just in time for World Oceans Day, McDonalds announced today that it will be serving sustainable fish at its restaurants in Europe. The fastfood behemoth’s Filet-o-Fish sandwiches will bear the blue eco-label of the Marine Stewardship Council starting in October. McDonalds uses four species of wild fish for the sandwiches: cod, haddock, Alaska pollock and New Zealand hoki and sells 100 million fish-wiches in Europe at year, says the New York Times (you can also check out the ingredients via the McDonalds website).

The Marine Stewardship Council is a London-based nonprofit founded in 1995 by the World Wildlife Fund and Unilever, which was “then a big seafood retailer, to encourage stores, restaurants and consumers to choose fish harvested in responsible ways.” The Council employs third-party companies to “certify that fisheries are managed to safeguard jobs, maintain fish stocks and protect the ocean.” It will receive 0.5 percent of the cost of the 10 million Filet-o-Fish fish fillets it lends its stamp of approval to.

As the New York Times notes, the Council has its critics regarding what it gives the “sustainable” imprimatur to:

Its certification of the New Zealand hoki has in particular been the object of scrutiny, because the fish are caught by trawling the ocean floor, a means of fishing that has been likened to driving a bulldozer across the ocean floor.

What I’m waiting for is for McDonalds to start serving the same sustainable fish here in the US. Joanna Trigg, a McDonald’s spokeswoman in London said “there have been some conversations” about doing so here. The New York Times points out that “Europeans are — at least on the surface — somewhat more sensitive to environmental issues than Americans” — I’m not sure if such a sweeping statement can be vouched for in the space of this blog post. Are we serious about seafood sustainability or not in the US?


Related Care2 Coverage

Fish Fraud: Mislabeled Mahi-Mahi and Suspect Shark

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Photo by BrokenSphere (Own work) [GFDL ( or CC-BY-SA-3.0-2.5-2.0-1.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

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3:53AM PDT on Sep 13, 2011

chalk up one for Ronald

8:22PM PDT on Jul 31, 2011

Why in the world not here? Makes no sense, but I'm sure there's a profit-motive at stake!

1:40PM PDT on Jul 1, 2011

I guess that's a small change in the right direction. However, if I did eat fish, I still would not set foot in McDisgusting any day except to use the bathroom...

4:01PM PDT on Jun 27, 2011

good. we could use it in the US too.

2:56AM PDT on Jun 14, 2011

shouldn't eat MCcrap to begin with. High in sodium, fat and sugars. Plus they might be using a food glue to piece stuff together which is not cool.

9:19PM PDT on Jun 10, 2011


1:20PM PDT on Jun 10, 2011

They don't provide the healthiest of foods!

11:35AM PDT on Jun 10, 2011

Oh please....using McDonalds and sustainable in the same sentence is wrong on so many levels!

8:22AM PDT on Jun 10, 2011

A few years ago I contacted 'McCruelty' sugg-esting they offer a veggie burger. Reply: we don't solicit opinions from consumers. I think they s/b required to serve only whole wheat buns and a certain amount of veggies in the product; e.g. shredded raw carrots, tur-nips, whatever. We are all paying for their greed by having a country of sick people. Also they could turn off a few more lights in the interest of global warming (& fewer nuclear plants). Also, are they paying women equally with men????

6:49AM PDT on Jun 10, 2011

Mac the french call it is probably doing this because food is very important in france and very well controled AND parents do not take their kids there often...soooo if you want Mum to agree...make it healthy and ...correct!

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