Scottish Seafood Association chief executive Jimmy Buchan accused the organisation of misinforming consumers and putting jobs at risk with its “assessments of fish to avoid”.
“The Marine Conservation Society urges consumers not to buy crab and lobster because of alleged concerns about whales becoming entangled in gear,” he said.
“Yet there is very little evidence of this being a significant problem and where risks have been identified the industry is working collaboratively to minimise any impact.
“And the MCS’s conclusion about monkfish, which it also urges consumers to avoid, is utterly laughable at a time when this species has never been so abundant on the fishing grounds.
“The MCS will not open up its methodology for wider scrutiny, thus stoking suspicion that it is chasing cheap headlines based on prejudice and not fact.
“This blatantly anti-fishing organisation is causing real damage to fishing communities and legitimate businesses that employ more than 5,000 people in Scotland and are subject to far more regulation, checks and balances than it will ever face.”
Charlotte Coombes, Good Fish Guide Manager at the Marine Conservation Society: “Together with industry and governments, we’re working to ensure the future health of our seas to support thriving fishing communities. The Good Fish Guide is a key part of this.
“Our ratings are produced using the latest available scientific data and information. Our team extensively research every seafood rating following detailed methodologies that are published on our website.
“The more data we have about what's happening at sea, the better informed we all are about how sustainable our seafood is. The reasons behind our ratings, and details of all the data and reports we have used when making our decisions, are online.
“Prior to publishing our ratings, we openly welcome feedback via a public consultation.
"Our mailing list is the best way to find out about these consultations. Email the MCS via: [email protected] We publicise every consultation on our website for full transparency.”