Endangered fish for sale in some of Sweden’s stores

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Photo: Roger Jansson, Claus Gertsen, Jurek Holzer. Montage: Sveriges RadioSeveral endangered deep-sea fish species are widely available in stores and markets throughout Sweden, according to a new survey from the Swedish Society for Nature Conservation (SSNC).

Out of 57 supermarkets investigated, 37 sold endangered species such as sole which is on an international “red list” of species in danger of extinction due to overfishing. At smaller fishmongers even more were on offer with 43 of 44 retailers stocking endangered deep sea fish.

“We decided to look into deep-sea fish because we saw that it’s an areas that gets far too little attention, ” SSNC spokesman Mikael Karlsson told Swedish Radio.

He added that it has become more common in recent years to fish in deeper waters using trawling methods that strip the sea bed.

The majority of Ica supermarkets surveyed (19 out of 27) by the SSNC in Sweden had red listed fish on sale.

“We take this report seriously and will look into what information measures we need to take,” said the supermarket chain’s head of environment Maria Smith, adding that it will not be possible to guarantee the fish will be taken off the shelves.

“We already recommend our buyers not to buy red listed fish species. Our business model leaves this question with individual stories. But we will put an emphasis on the important of working with these issues.”

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