‘Endangered fish’ on sale in Swedish shops

'Endangered fish' on sale in Swedish shops
Fish products from unsustainable stocks remain on sale in many Swedish retail outlets, according to a new report from the Society for Nature Conservation (SNCC).

Many of the fish products on sale in Swedish stores are environmentally sound, but many are not, concluded the society after reviewing products on sale in 62 retail outlets in 10 counties across Sweden.

In two of three stores surveyed details of the origin of the fish products were missing, making it very difficult for customers to determine if the fish has been caught from sustainable stocks.

Of the larger chains Ica had the greatest number of stores selling fish products with a sound environmental profile. But at the same time the supermarket chain also had the largest number of stores selling fish from unsustainable sources.

Ica had significantly more brands carrying a Krav organic label than Coop. Hemköp had only Krav branded salmon. Lidl and Willys did not sell any Krav branded products at all.

Lidl, Willys and Hemköp did however stock more brands labelled with the MSC (Marine Stewardship Council) label than competitors Ica and Coop.

All of the chains surveyed in the report stock fish and shellfish products from unsustainable sources or where fishing in some way damaged the environment.

Every third Ica store, and every fifth Coop, sold halibut, a species red-listed by the WWF. Ica also sold more of the endangered species of eel, angler-fish, flounder, plaice and swordfish.

The society argued that it was surprising to find so many stores still selling tropical varieties of shrimp, despite the widespread attention drawn to problems of farming.

All Lidl and Willys stores sold tropical shrimps while around 80 percent of Ica and Hemköp, and 50 percent of Coop, stores did so.

“The increased investment in eco-friendly branded products is positive. But at the same time they are selling these endangered species without reservation, which to me feels like unsustainable double standards,” said the society’s secretary-general Svante Axelsson in a press statement.