Norwegian cod gets the highest score on a sustainability list by the The Guardian. Yet environmental organization WWF warns.
Tim Lang, professor of food policy at City University of London and the co-author of Sustainable Diets, puts it: “When you come to ‘judge’ food, you end up with an enormous list of variables, from taste to health outcomes to biodiversity.” He lists some of today’s most controversial products for The Guardian.
Avocado, soy, palm oil and and cod are on the top of the list. But Norwegian cod is exception, according to celebrity chef and sustainability guru Adam Handling.
He says to The Guardian that he only buys cod from Norway, where he know that maintaining the stock is encouraged and supported.
The British newspaper notes that the status of Norwegian cod, is quite different: Norway was the first country in the world to introduce a quota system for its cod, and its fishing culture is built around the quality, sustainability and safety of this historic resource.
The quota system has led to today’s cod population in Norway being one of the world’s largest and most robust.
WWF is cautious about the success
Despite praisal from the newspaper, everything is not quite OK for the cod in the north, according to WWF.
NRK has previously reported about Norwegian cod being shipped to China and filled with water and chemicals before being marketed to Europe.
The environmental organization WWF World Natural Fund believes the image of Norwegian cod and the way the stock is managed should be nuanced.
-A cod is not a cod, even here in Norwegian waters. You should only choose cod from the Norwegian Sea and from the Barents Sea. Cod fishing in the North Sea or in the Skagerrak should be controlled because these are cod stocks at historically low levels, says Fredrik Myhre marine biologist and WWF senior adviser to NRK.