The information on the condition of commercially exploited fish stocks found in the media and the shopping guides published by various organisations is often contradictory. Can a fish dealer in all good conscience still offer North Sea cod? What about the state of herring in the Baltic Sea? Is any sustainably harvested hake stock available anywhere in the world?
Since 2010, the website "Fischbestände online" (Fish Stocks Online) has been providing up-to-date information on the state of the wild marine fish stocks which are relevant to the German retail market. The website aims to present scientifically sound information: brief, comprehensive and up to date. Along with a new system of labelling the origin of fish products, retailers and consumers are provided with basic information on all aspects of sustainable use of commercially exploited fish stocks. This allows companies to develop individual sourcing policies. The website does not, however, include rankings or purchasing recommendations.
At the end of the first project phase in January 2013, "Fish Stocks Online" published information on 155 stocks of 31 fish and shellfish species. Apart from regularly updating existing resources, the second project phase (Feb. 2013 – Jan. 2016) focusses on compiling information on various tuna, sardine and anchovy stocks. In addition, the description of different fishing gear is being completed and aligned with the terminology of the latest EU common market organisation's legal requirements.
The project was initiated by the "Round Table on Sustainable Fishing" of the Federal Ministry for Food and Agriculture and is being financed (in the second phase) by the German fish processing industry, retailers, importers and fisheries. The information is collated by the Thünen Institute of Baltic Sea Fisheries.
Website Fischbestände online (in German only)