Haddock could be about to disappear from fish and chip shops

It’s a favourite at the chippy for plenty of people, but haddock could be at risk of disappearing from the menu amid fears of falling numbers of stock.

The Marine Conservation Society has taken haddock from three North Sea and West of Scotland fisheries off its recommended “green” list of fish to eat.

The move is due to stock numbers in 2016 being below the recommended level, prompting the need for action to increase the number of fish of breeding age, the society said.

Haddock is a popular choice with consumers as it is one of the UK’s “big five” seafood species along with cod, tuna, salmon and prawns, and a popular choice in the fish and chip shop.

Concern – three fisheries have been downgraded for haddock being a good choice to buy (Picture: Getty)

According to the Marine Conservation Society’s Good Fish Guide, two of the three fisheries are now rated “amber” – scoring just four in a scale of one to five, where one is the most sustainable.

The other fishery has seen its fish drop from being a good choice of haddock to buy to one to eat only occasionally, with a “three” rating.

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Bernadette Clarke, the MCS Good Fish Guide manager, said: “These ratings changes have come about because scientific perception of the stock has changed

“Compared to 2015, the stock numbers in 2016 were below the recommended level and at the point where action is now needed to increase the number of fish of breeding age.”

The Marine Conservation Society also has ratings for different types of tuna from around the world and different methods of catching them, including nets, long lines and pole and line fisheries.

And people buying American lobster are advised to choose ones which come from fisheries with a Marine Stewardship Council certification, which means they implement stronger management to protect stocks and habitat and prevent bycatch.

:: Consumers who want to check which fish to buy or avoid can visit www.goodfishguide.org, download the App on iPhone or Android, or pick up a printed pocket version from the society.

(Top picture: PA)