The UK's Marine Conservation Society (MCS) has published its latest sustainability guidelines for seafood consumers based on current scientific assessments of fish stocks.

In its "Fish to Avoid and Fish to Eat" list MCS is advising consumers to avoid vulnerable and overfished species such as shark and deepwater fish, whilst also recommending that retailers source traditional favourites such as cod and haddock from sustainable fisheries. MSC said the most environmentally sound seafood includes mussels, oysters, Alaskan salmon and sustainably harvested scallops (diver-caught rather than dredged).

"Consumers can make a real difference to the way our fish stocks are managed and help stop this decline," said Bernadette Clarke, MCS fisheries officer and author of the Good Fish Guide and FISHonline.

"By only choosing fish from healthy, responsibly managed sources, caught using methods which minimise damage to the marine environment and other species, consumers can create a market for sustainably managed and selectively caught fish. Everyone from retailers, fishmongers, restaurateurs, chefs, fish and chip shop owners to the man in the street has a responsibility for what they eat or cook, and can help drive the market for sustainable seafood," she added.