An increasingly popular way to make responsible purchasing decisions is by using one of the growing number of seafood guides. These now exist in several countries and are issued by several organisations taking into account scientific assessments of the state of the resource and the fishery. Some add criteria such as respect for labour laws and other aspects of sustainability.


If you have a computer or mobile phone at hand, an easy way to get to the latest edition of the suite of seafood guides, e.g. provided by WWF with focus on Europe, the biggest import market for fishery products.

FishBase offers an entry to a cross-section of advisories from different parts of the globe here.

It works also in the restaurant and in the market or supermarket, when you are confronted with a difficult choice. The good news is moreover, that following the runaway success of the book by Charles Clover 'The end of the line' more chefs are jumping ship and offer only sustainably produced fish and seafood. The book lambasts overfishing and the misplaced hypocrisy surrounding many illegal practices. It narrates the science correctly, yet in a highly readable style. The beginning of the screening of the film with the same title has added to the reach of the book. Until more chefs and fish vendors are on board, having the seafood advisory is very useful.

Want to know which restaurant serves sustainably produced fish in your country and more? That remains a challenge as the initiative 'Fish2Fork' stoped providing the service. Caution is in order and you may well ask explicitly what fish is being served and where it comes from. In a 2015 study in Brussels restaurants, including in the European Commission and Parliament, where rules are set, a study team from the Catholic University of Leuven found high levels of mislabeling.