04/10/2018 12:41 BST | Updated 04/10/2018 13:45 BST

Squid Is Not Sustainable, Fish Fans Are Told – Eat Pollock Instead

It's the fish McDonald's puts in Filet-O-Fish 😋

We hate to break it you, Calamari lovers, but campaigners are urging you to swap your squid for pollock to alleviate pressure on global fish stocks at risk.

Squid are increasingly under threat as demand for the delicious starter grows –so much so the fish has been given one of the lowest sustainability rating of species regularly consumed in the UK in the Marine Conservation Society’s latest guidelines.

The Good Fish Guide 2018, updated annually by the Marine Conservation Society, aims to enlighten the public on fish consumption when packaging and over-the-counter purchases offer little information on sustainability

The guide works by rating all regularly consumed fish, from the common cod to rarer sharks, on a one to five scale, with one being extremely sustainable and five facing serious risk.

With different species of squid graded between three and five, the British public are being encouraged to eat haddock or pollock instead, both of which have tier one sustainability ratings.

Alaskan Pollock will be familiar to many as the fish used by McDonalds’ in its popular Filet-O-Fish sandwich.

“Choosing sustainable seafood is a complex issue not helped by a lack of clear labelling on most seafood products,” said Bernadette Clarke, programme manager for the Good Fish Guide. “That lack of information means that consumers need all the help they can get.”

The Marine Conservation Society encourages you always to ask where your seafood was sourced.

“Using the Good Fish Guide will point people in the right direction and start the sustainability conversation with the fishmonger or restaurant,” said Clarke. “If consumers can start asking ‘Is that sustainable?’, seafood suppliers will need to have an answer.”

Some of the UK’s most commonly eaten fish are under severe threat: with a rating of five, the Atlantic Salmon is one of the most at-risk species on the list.

Shaun Taylor via Getty Images

Meanwhile, the widely sourced Atlantic Cod has been given all five of the sustainability ratings, dependent on the different ways the fish is caught, some of which are much more sustainable than others.

The plight of marine life in our oceans is becoming an increasingly discussed topic, with the affects of plastic waste threatening every marine ecosystem on the planet.

[Read More: Why you need to watch the BBC’s ‘Drowning In Plastic’]

In turn, this is polluting our food as microplastics – tiny pieces of plastic less than 1mm in size – are consumed by fish and make their way up the food chain. 

The Marine Conservation Society says it’s vital the public, chefs, retailers and fish buyers refer regularly to the Good Fish Guide – available online, in a pocket guide or as an app – to ensure they have the most up-to-date sustainable seafood advice when sourcing, buying and eating fish.