This has to be bad news for the UK fishing industry. The story tells us:

Britain’s most valuable fish stock has lost its sustainable status after overfishinghas driven mackerel stocks to the brink of collapse.

As of this weekend, the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) has warned people against purchasing mackerel caught in the North East Atlantic, which will no longer bear its “blue label”.

The body charged with assessing the health of wild fisheries said its decision came after stocks had crashed due in part to quotas that exceeded the best scientific advice. 

Accounting for around a third of the seafood landed in the UK, the mackerel fishery is worth over £200m.

“This news will be a disappointment for the fishermen as well as for mackerel loving consumers,” said Camiel Derichs, Europe director for the MSC.

“However, factors including declining stocks, quotas set above new scientific advice and poor recruitment have combined to mean that the fisheries no longer meet the MSC’s requirements.”

The International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES) states that mackerel populations have been in freefall since 2011, dropping from a high of 4.79 million tonnes to 2.75 million tonnes last year.

Council experts advised that current catches must be cut by over two thirds to allow the stock to recover to a sustainable level over the next two years.

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