A survey by the organisation of environmental lawyers, Client Earth, has found that a number of environmental claims on fish products in UK supermarkets were misleading or could not be backed up.
Products such as tinned tuna, haddock, cod, and farmed fish. which are labelled as ‘sustainably sourced’, ‘protects the marine environment’, and ‘responsibly farmed’ were misleading or unverified on 32 products out of 100 examined.
The survey was particularly concerned about tinned tuna. ‘Dolphin friendly’ labels featured on tinned tuna that was caught in areas where there was often no threat to dolphins and failing to mention the harmful effects the tuna fishing method used had on other threatened species such as turtles and sharks.
Client Earth blamed a lack of consistency, with different retailers using different criteria, which makes it difficult for consumers to make informed choices about the environmental impacts of their purchases.
The organisation is calling for better regulation of fish labelling and the introduction of EU standards for environmental claims about fish. A further recommendation of the report is that the UK Advertising Standards Authority extends its remit to cover packaging and labels as well as published advertisements.