Filet o fish

McDonald’s has announced that it will be the nation’s first national restaurant chain to serve certified-sustainable seafood at all of its 14,000 U.S. locations.

In a partnership with the independent nonprofit organization responsible for setting standards for sustainable fishing, the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC), packaging for all of the chain’s fish sandwiches will include the blue MSC ecolabel starting in February.

McDonald’s has audited its supply chain to ensure its fish products come from sustainable sources that are also traceable for its Filet-O-Fish sandwich and the forthcoming Fish McBites, which are made from wild-caught Alaskan pollock.

McDonald’s senior vice president of U.S. supply chain and sustainability Dan Gorsky said in a press release: “McDonald’s collaboration with the Marine Stewardship Council is a critical part of our company’s journey to advance positive environmental and economic practices to maintain the health and sustainability of fish stocks for the future,” adding, “We’re extremely proud of the fact that this decision ensures our customers will continue to enjoy the same great taste and high quality of our fish with the additional assurance that the fish they are buying can be traced back to a fishery that meets MSC’s strict sustainability standard.”

The chain has already been serving MSC-certified fish in its European locations since October 2011 and is part of the company’s efforts to be more sustainable and ethical. Recently, the chain announced plans to phase out gestation crates for pregnant sows from all of its suppliers within the next decade, and the chain has also committed to begin purchasing 1 million cage-free eggs each month.

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Image: Roslyn in Starfish Island