Shoppers Urged to Choose Sustainable Seafood to Protect Oceans for Future Generations

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Baby boomers are more likely to buy seafood than younger shoppers, and they buy a wider range of species, according to a new survey carried out for the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC). But to ensure that future generations can enjoy seafood too, it’s vital that shoppers of all ages choose sustainably sourced seafood, says the MSC.

A YouGov survey for the non-profit seafood ecolabel found that three-quarters of over-55s bought fish to eat at home in the previous month, more than any other age group. Just 6% said they never eat fish or seafood, compared with 18% of those aged 18 – 24 years.

While most UK adults stick to just a few favourites like salmon, cod and tuna,more than a fifth (22%) of over-55s who purchased fish recently bought five or more different types, and an adventurous 12% put as many as six or more seafood species in their shopping basket.

Over-55s buy more than half of all the salmon sold in the UK and the MSC’s survey found they are more likely than younger shoppers to buy other types of oily fish too, like mackerel, sardines, herrings and kippers.

A fifth (20%) of over-55s surveyed said they were eating more fish now than a year ago, with most of them saying they’d increased their intake because they were trying to eat more healthily (66%). Almost half (47%) said they were eating more fish because they had reduced the meat in their diet.

Commenting on the survey findings, Toby Middleton, Programme Director for MSC in the UK & North Atlantic, said: “Baby boomers seem to be the UK’s biggest seafood lovers, but whatever your age, and whether you stick to firm favourites like salmon and shrimp or regularly put sardines and scallops in your shopping basket, by choosing seafood that’s been sustainably sourced you can help to ensure that fish stocks are maintained at healthy levels, so that future generations can enjoy seafood, too.”

The MSC’s non-profit ‘blue tick’ ecolabel gives shoppers and diners an independent assurance that seafood has been fished responsibly and is traceable from ocean to plate. UK supermarkets stock more than 1,100 MSC labelled products, and MSC certified seafood is also on the menu at more than 50 fish and chip shops, as well as restaurants including Wahaca, Feng Sushi and selected Hilton Hotels.