Dab and chips anyone? Brits should switch their fish choices following Brexit to support the economy, it has been claimed by the Marine Conservation Society (MCS).

The MCS said it was time to drop the 'big five' fishes consumers eat in the UK - cod, haddock, salmon, prawns and tuna - to put less stress on individual fisheries.

Its 'best choice' list now includes a number of unusual options, which can be caught or farmed at a variety of locations across the British Isles, supporting local businesses.

The MCS post-Brexit Top 10:

 

• Dab: seine netted in the North Sea

 

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A small, flat fish that is related to the Halibut family. Sweet and succulent when cooked on the bone. Preferably two would need to be served for a main or a single for starters.

 

• Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) certified hake: Cornwall

 

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Hake are members of the Cod family. According to the MSC, they are a mild fish, having a more subtle flavour than cod. Hake is considered one of the best fish in the whiting family because of its firm, sweet, white meat and medium flake.

 

• MSC certified herring: Irish, Celtic and North Seas, SW Ireland, and Eastern English Channel

 

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Herring has been salted in Europe for centuries. The MSC describes it as having a creamy colored meat, a mild taste, a high oil content and a small flake. 

 

• Mackerel: handlined in the southwest of England

 

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An oily fish which is rich in omega-3 fatty acids. It is traditionally smoked or cure. 

 

• Megrim: the Northern North Sea and West of Scotland

 

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Sometimes described as 'Cornish sole' to make it more attractive to consumers, Megrim, which is from the same family as turbot and brill, has softer flesh and thinner skin, that can be easily crisped during cooking.

 

• UK rope-grown mussels

 

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Moules frites may be a dish commonly associated with Belgium and France, but there is no reason why this shouldn't also be seen as a British pub classic, especially with its popularity in Jersey and Channel Island. 

 

• Brown crab: Devon Inshore Potting Area, Western Channel

 

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The brown - or edible - crab is a potentially great additional for coastal pub sandwich menus. Great on toast or in a Thai curry. Other options include in pasta dishes. 

 

• Queen scallops: the Fal Estuary fished by traditional sail and oar method

 

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There are a number of starter, side and even main dishes that are suitable for scallops. As shown in the picture, they are great on top of a summer salad, as well as on their own with a variety of purees or greens. Other options include pasta dishes and with bacon or pork. 


• Pollock: handlined from the Celtic sea

 

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According to the MSC, it has a soft, white meat, suitable for processed, especially coated, products. Its roe is highly regarded in Japan where it is salted for consumption.

 

• Sole: Dover, the Western Channel

 

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Dover sole is an institution and is surely a go-to dish on any pub on the Thanet peninsula as well as further afield into Kent and Sussex and London. Lemon sole is also, of course, a favourite on British menus. 

MCS Good Fish Guide programme manager, Bernadette Clarke, said of the list: "We're suggesting that dab, hake, herring, mussels and mackerel become the new cod, haddock, salmon, prawns and tuna."

The society said going local assisted with lower food miles and carbon footprint, helping regional economies, and better traceability of the product.

Bernadette said: "We are currently exporting around 75% of fish caught and landed in the UK, but we're the ninth largest importer of fish in the world with around 70% of the seafood value entering the UK fish supply chain coming from overseas."

In the latest Good Fish Guide update, MSC certified brown crab from both Shetland and Orkney, MSC certified sardine ring-netted in Cornwall, and harpooned swordfish were all taken off the Best Choice list.

Fish to avoid and definitely not on the list

• Red Mullet
• Nursehound
• Cuckoo
• Spotted and roker ray species
• Wild seabass for Biscay
• Atlantic bigeye

Some products came off the 'avoid' list too:

• Undulate ray from the English Channel
• Albacore from the Med
• Bigeye from the western central Pacific Ocean