School of Fish: The MSC End of Term Report on sustainable fish in schools 2015
Marine Stewardship Council Global Impacts Report 20151
School of fish
MSC End of Term Report on sustainable
fish in primary schools
Marine Stewardship Council School of fish 2
When we started revising the School
Food Standards, fish was always going
to be a key component. The evidence is
clear: eating fish, and particularly oily
fish, is good for developing brains and
bodies. But while feeding children well
today, we also need to protect their
future. That’s why we recommended
sustainably-sourced, MSC certified fish.
Buying MSC certified fish is a simple way for
school caterers to ensure the fish they serve is
sustainable, and to communicate that
commitment to pupils and parents. It helps
make the public sector part of something
bigger - a wave of change for the better that is
taking place in fisheries around the world.
When combined with the MSC’s Fish and Kids
programme it not only ensures that children
eat sustainably, but helps schools teach our
children to be good custodians of the world
they will inherit.
This report highlights the impact of the School
Food Plan on the sourcing of fish in schools. It
shows a strong start, though there is still a
long way to go. Thousands more school pupils
eating sustainable fish, supporting
sustainable fishing and learning how to
protect the marine environment: that’s a
fantastic legacy to leave our children.
Since its launch in 2006, over 3,000
schools have joined the MSC’s Fish and
Kids programme. Fish and Kids is the
MSC’s education programme, working
primarily in England and bringing
sustainable seafood to children through
education and school meals and it fits
into the whole school approach to food
and sustainable development.
The programme teaches children about the
importance of protecting the marine
environment and explains the journey of our
seafood from the sea to their plates. At the
same time, it provides an independent menu
certification, showing that the fish they are
eating for school meals comes from a
In the first End of Term Report, in 2014, it was
clear that there was a wide range in adoption
of MSC labelled fish on school menus. The
North and Midlands LEAs performed
particularly well, with the South East lagging
behind and the South West performing poorly.
This year’s report comes in the wake of the
School Food Standards which became
mandatory in January. The Standards
recommend sourcing MSC certified seafood.
These are reflected in strong commitments
from education sector caterers Alliance in
Partnership and ISS Education.
The result is an 18% increase in the number of
MSC certified schools with 572 schools joining
the programme. This was led by the South
East region, adding 209 certified schools and
the Midlands continuing their drive for
sustainable seafood sourcing with a further
164 schools joining their already high-
performing area. The formerly poorly
performing South West region is also making
progress, gaining MSC certification for 47 of
their schools. The increase means that one in
six primary schools are now serving certified
sustainable fish to their pupils.
While this is a significant proportion, it still
leaves significant room for improvement and
the majority of schools are not providing
information on the sustainability or
provenance of their fish.
from the MSC