Sunday, April 28, 2013

McDonalds Filet-O-Fish Now is Eco-Friendly Through Marine Stewardship Label

As one becomes involved with oyster reef restoration, one can't help but become aware of broader issues associated with ocean's such as the challenges with maintaining sustainable fisheries. Oysters play into this as 60% of the fish caught at sea live in estuaries for part of their lives. And oyster reef improve that estuarine environment by providing shelter and food through the 100 types of creatures that live in a reef.

McDonald's Filet-O-Fish Sandwich

McDonald's sells more than 200 million Filet-O-Fish sandwiches in the US each year. (To learn the interesting history of the Filet-O-Fish visit this link.) They are made of Alaskan pollock and New Zealand hoki. 

Hoki Fish from New Zealand

The company has recently obtained the blue eco label from the Marine Stewardship Council. This means that the fishery is properly managed to be sustainable. Here are three key criteria from their web-site.

Principle 1: Sustainable fish stocks
The fishing activity must be at a level which is sustainable for the fish population. Any certified fishery must operate so that fishing can continue indefinitely and is not overexploiting the resources. 

Principle 2: Minimising environmental impact
Fishing operations should be managed to maintain the structure, productivity, function and diversity of the ecosystem on which the fishery depends.

Principle 3: Effective management
The fishery must meet all local, national and international laws and must have a management system in place to respond to changing circumstances and maintain sustainability.

McDonald's is obviously a huge force in the fast food world and the restaurant industry overall, so their move could be a bell-weather for the industry.  And it could be a lever to lead more people to opt for the seafood option.

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