MRGF_header | Mr.Goodfish

Mr.Goodfish recommendations for fisheries

Our principles

Mr.Goodfish is a constructive programme: nothing is banned, there are only recommendations.

These recommendations are published quarterly, in the form of a list made available on the internet and communicated to all contributing members.

Each quarter, fishmongers receive a poster showing images of the fish that are in season. This poster is to be displayed on business premises to inform clients.

The Mr.Goodfish programme does not prevent fishmongers or restaurant owners from offering species that are not on the list of recommended species.

Only species sourced from regions recommended by the Mr.Goodfish programme and indicated on the current list are allowed to use the Mr.Goodfish logo.

Goodfish eligibility criteria

 Stock status: To ensure that exploitation is sustainable, Mr.Goodfish species must come from healthy stocks, whose status has been verified by specialists. In other words, the stocks must be monitored by one or more scientific institutions or alternatively it must be possible to obtain authoritative scientific opinion on them.

 Species non-subjected to regulation and with low fisheries pressure can be suggested. This brings the unknown-species to the attention of the general public.

As species may come from several different stocks (different origins), the fishing area specified on catch reports is crucial. This information is a requirement for a product to be eligible for the «Mr.Goodfish» programme. Information on the landing port is useful but not essential.

  • Size: The minimum recommended size shall be the size at first sexual maturity. If there is a gender size difference at first sexual maturity, the larger size shall apply. It is worth pointing out that this is often different to the minimum landing size specified in statutory instruments.
  • Season: Goodfish shall publish lists of recommended species for each season. The recommended seasons shall be those that lie outside the reproduction peak(s) for the species concerned. The actual dates may be modified in any given year where scientific data indicates a shift in the timing of reproduction peak(s).
  • Species status: Reference shall be made to the latest advice on stocks from the ICES, which is published annually.

 In short: A species can only be included on the Mr.Goodfish list when the four criteria above are met.

How are the lists of recommended species developed?

IFREMER provides a detailed list of species (stock status, fishing pressure, fishing area …) to the Mr.Goodfish programme coordinator.

The 3 regional committees for the establishment of the lists meet every quarter and 6 weeks before the renewal of the list. The meetings are facilitated by the regional coordinators: Nausicaá, Payote Conseil and The Prince Albert II of MONACO Foundation.

These 3 committees include:

  • Scientists: the proposals may include scientific opinions collected from institutions other than IFREMER, and provide complementary skills for assessing the state of certain resources (for example CNC for shellfish, University of Caen for cephalopods),
  • Representatives of:
  • Fishermen (CRPMEM)
  • Processors
  • Wholesalers (Wholesaler union) to advise on current consumption trends
  • Restaurant owners to advise on current consumption trends and provide feedback on new proposed species.
  • Fishmongers
  • Retailers (Sea-sector direction of INTERMARCHE + Quality direction of METRO and Transgourmet Seafood)
  • Consumer associations (CLCV)

The committees provide the final amendments as well as the final validation of the list. Species may possibly be removed from the list by decision of the committees, but no other species can be added. A species cannot be included in the proposed Mr.Goodfish seasonal list unless all four of the criteria are satisfied. Any “problematic” species cannot be included. If more scientific information is required, the programme coordinator contacts the IFREMER fisheries expert coordinator.

Then, the list is immediately published and sent to the Mr.Goodfish members, and the design of communication materials (posters and other supports) starts.