McDonald’s Canada has announced that 100 percent of the fish it serves in its Filet-O-Fish sandwich is now certified as sustainable by the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC). The Canadian arm of the fast food chain is following in the footsteps of its US counterpart, which committed to serving only MSC-certified fish in January 2013.
McDonald’s Canada has purchased fish from MSC-certified fisheries for nearly a decade and recently completed MSC’s third-party Chain of Custody process to further solidify the company’s commitment to maintaining the health of the world’s oceans by supporting sustainable fishing practices.
MSC is a leading certification and ecolabelling program for sustainable, wild-caught seafood and the logo can only be used after rigorous, independent third-party verification. The MSC’s Chain of Custody process traces the fish, used in McDonald’s Filet-O-Fish, from the restaurant where it’s served, back through the supply chain. The fisheries that McDonald’s Canada’s supplier sources from are MSC certified and have been assessed by independent scientists against three core principles: the health of the fish stock, the impact of the fishery on the ecosystem and the management system that oversees the fishery.
“Having the MSC ecolabel on Filet-O-Fish packaging in every Canadian McDonald’s restaurant will significantly contribute to the MSC mission of using its certification and ecolabel program to recognize and reward sustainable fishing practices, influencing the choices people make when buying seafood and working with our partners to transform the seafood market to a sustainable basis,” said Geoff Bolan, Americas Region Commercial Director for the Marine Stewardship Council.
McDonald’s Canada uses MSC-certified, wild-caught Alaska pollock for its Filet-O-Fish and is one of the largest purchasers of the fish in the Canadian foodservice industry. McDonald’s Canada joins McDonald’s Europe and McDonald’s USA in receiving MSC certification.
Over 75 percent of the world’s fish are fully exploited or overexploited, and 90 percent of all large fishes have disappeared from the world’s oceans. There is significant concern that such rapid extinction will lead to broader collapses of ecosystems at a global scale, threatening food supplies and livelihoods.
In May, McDonald's announced it soon will allow its restaurants in different international markets to follow region-specific guidelines for achieving its recent pledge to purchase sustainable beef. In January, the fast food company pledged to begin purchasing verified sustainable beef in 2016, with the goal of eventually buying all of its beef from sustainable sources.