Fish & Seafood

image of fishing boat
image of fishing boat

All our FISH

IS RESPONSIBLY sourced 

All OUR FISH IS RESPONSIBLY SOURCED

This means we’re preserving fish stocks for future generations. As members of the Sustainable Seafood Coalition (SSC), we follow the SSC codes of conduct and we'll work only with fisheries and aquaculture farms that share our commitment to responsible sourcing and animal welfare. 

Our commitment includes own label fresh fish, whether you buy it on the counter or prepacked, and whether it's frozen or canned, ingredients in our own label ready meals, sandwiches and any other own label prepared food where fish is the main ingredient. 

Award-winning supermarket for animal welfare

We’ve been working to these high standards for 15 years. You can find out more in our aquaculture strategy.

Look out for the blue-fish logo on packaging, which means your seafood has been caught from fisheries certified to the Marine Stewardship Council's standard, which recognises them as well managed and sustainable. 

We’re champions of sustainable fishing

  • In 2022 our fish counters were recognised as the best in the UK for the fifth year in a row by the Marine Stewardship Council, which certifies sustainable fishing with its blue-fish label. 

  • In 2021, our MSC-certified No.1 Yellowfin Tuna Steaks were awarded UK product of the year.

  • We're working hard to make sure that by 2025, 100% of our own-brand fish and shellfish will come from third-party verified responsible sources. 90.2% of our fish and shellfish met this goal in January 2022. 

  • To reach this 100% goal, we're working with our suppliers to develop Fisheries Improvement Projects (FIPs) for those fisheries who don't already have them, whilst supporting the many fisheries that do. These FIPs help fisheries work towards an environmentally friendly future and third party certification. 
     
  • We work only with well-managed fisheries and we never sell species that are threatened or endangered.

  • We source only from approved farms that rear fish using high animal welfare standards, with respect for the environment.

  • All our fish and seafood is traceable from catch to checkout, so we know who caught it – and where.

  • The conditions on aquaculture farms must protect the health and wellbeing of our farmed fish as well as the environment. The feed must be sourced responsibly.

  • All our own-label skipjack tuna is responsibly caught using pole-and-line methods, and we support the Greenpeace campaign to end the sale of tuna caught with the use of both fish aggregation devices and purse seining, which increases bycatch.

  • Our Scottish salmon comes from carefully selected farms in the Shetland and Orkney Islands, the west coast of Scotland and the Western Isles. As well as being RSPCA-approved, each farm is audited by our dedicated supplier against our robust standards before each lifecycle of salmon is supplied. We're the only supermarket to insist on this.

 

Did you know?
 

Submerged cameras on salmon farms record when the fish are feeding. When the fish have had enough, the food supply stops, minimising waste and preventing it from polluting the seabed

Meet the fisher

image of a fisherman, Tommy Russell

Tommy Russell with a haul of shellfish in Poole Harbour

Fisherman Tommy Russell supplies Waitrose with clams and cockles, from the MSC-certified fishery of Poole Harbour in Dorset. “Ours is an amazing fishery – it’s the second largest natural harbour in the world and people have been fishing there since Roman times, perhaps even before,” he says.

“It’s mostly shallow water, almost landlocked, and it’s full of shellfish. The cockles we catch are native, but the clams were introduced by an oyster farmer, years ago, who only got permission because it was thought they couldn’t breed in our waters. Turns out they love it here!

‘The boats tow a basket behind them, limited to a certain size, and that scoops up the shellfish from the mud'

“We’re all small boats, five to seven metres long, powered by an outboard and mostly with just two crew. We’re allowed to fish between May and the day before Christmas Eve, six days a week, between 6am and 6pm, though we’d never actually be fishing for 12 hours – we can only fish when the tide’s in, so we’re only out for between four and seven hours.

"The boats tow a basket behind them, limited to a certain size, and that scoops up the shellfish from the mud. There’s a strict minimum gap between the bars and a water pump washes the smaller ones back through. We also avoid areas where the birds feed. It’s always been a very sustainable way of fishing, but getting the MSC certification and its blue-fish eco label on our shellfish has meant we’re able to prove that – it’s the gold standard and it’s been really important to us.

“When Waitrose said they wanted to stock our clams, that was a real lifesaver. More than that, it was a seal of approval – when your food is in Waitrose, that tells people it’s good.”

Our standards

Our farmed fish is certified to standards set by third parties including the RSPCA, Global Gap, Global Aquaculture Alliance, Aquaculture Stewardship Council and organic standards. Wild fish are caught using standards set by the Marine Stewardship Council and the UN's Food and Agriculture Organization.

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Chickens with more room to roam

They are all reared by British farmers, who share our commitment to high standards of animal welfare.

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