North Sea cod – used so often in Portuguese cuisine – has been added to an ‘at-risk’ list of marine species which shoppers should avoid buying.
British press reports that the UK’s Marine Conservation Society (MCS) will publish its updated 2019 ‘Good Fish Guide’ this week, detailing which is the most sustainable seafood and what to avoid in order to help safeguard at-risk species in UK waters.
The goal is to alleviate pressure on threatened stocks.
But as Público newspaper points out, although the list is created in the UK, the recommendations should also be followed by shoppers in Portugal.
Says the MCS: “There is clear evidence that the stock (of North Sea cod) is harvested unsustainably and the biomass at such a low level that the stock is suffering reduced reproductive capacity and is depleted.
“A rebuilding plan has been in operation for this stock since 2012. Fishing pressure, however, continues to increase as measures are insufficient to constrain the coastal cod catches,” it adds.
Cod fish is considered by many to be Portugal’s “national fish” even though it is not fished in Portuguese waters. It is the star of many of the country’s main dishes, from ‘Bacalhau com Natas’ (codfish with cream) to ‘Bacalhau à Brás’ (codfish with fried potatoes and onions).