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Second choice
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Coral fish

Coral fish is a collective name for the brightly coloured fish living in tropical and subtropical waters. Demand for this type of fish is not significant in the Netherlands. Species that can be found at the Dutch market are parrotfish, snappers, lionfish and doctorfish.

Often, it is very difficult to trace back the origin and fishing methods of these fish. Additionally, regulation and management of the fisheries can be very poor in countries of origin. Catches are not registered and there is little control on fishing methods. The use of cyanide and dynamite to fish on the reefs are common methods. This is extremely detrimental to the ecological status of the reefs and the entire ocean.


Parrotfish are often brightly coloured and have a mouth that looks like a parrot’s beak. Some species of parrotfish can grow to be 1 m in length but often stay smaller. Parrotfish show very social behaviour, living in small groups on coral reefs. They use their specialized beak and teeth to scrape algae from the corals. They consume the algae and excrete the indigestible parts. In fact most of the beautiful, white tropical beaches consist for a large part of parrotfish poop.  


Scaridae spp.

Pacific Ocean, central west (FAO 71)

Farming- / Catch method


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Fish stocks and fishing pressure
Ecosystem effects
Fishery management
Final assessment
Explanation assessment

There is a lack of data on the fishery on parrotfish in this area. Although the family of parrotfishes are regarded as intermediately vulnerable to fishing pressure, the lack of data makes it unclear. The increased fishing pressure in the Philippines of the last 10-20 years has led to local extinctions of parrotfish.

The fishing with gillnetsGillnets:
A fishing technique whereby passing fish get caught in the meshes with their gills. The net stands vertically on the bottom or hangs on buoys in the water column. The by-catch of species such as porpoises and dolphins is a problem related to gillnets.
is not selective and there is bycatch of many species, including sea turtles, sharks and dolphins. Parrotfish live on coral reefs, where they play a crucial role in the ecosystem. Also, the gillnets get tangled up with the branches of the coral and cause damage in this way.

There is little information on the management of this area.


ASC label

Fish with the ASC label is farmed in a sustainable manner.

MSC label

Fish with the MSC label is caught sustainably.

Good fish

This fish is not being overfished or is being responsibly farmed, with minimal impact on the environment.

Second choice

This fish is a second choice. There are still some improvements to be made in this fishery or fish farm.


Do not buy this fish. It's being overfished or the way it's farmed or caught has a negative impact on the environment.


There is fish available of this species that is farmed or caught using high welfare standards.


GlobalG.A.P. certified farms are doing a step in the right direction in terms of sustainability. A few species with this label are getting a better score on the VISwijzer.


Organic standards are the strictest when it comes to fish feed. They also require certain measures for animal well-being.