Our Planet
The silvery wash of the moon illuminates the invaders in our garden
Marine conservation is about proper management not numbers
Lion killed California intern with one swipe of its paw, coroner reveals
Deer cull would threaten thousands of jobs, say furious gamekeepers
We must kill Bambi: why culling deer is a no-brainer
Five shark species win protection against finning trade
Pangolins under threat as black market trade grows
Should we learn to love eating insects?
Rare Sumatran tiger kills farmer in Indonesia
Where screeching, scarlet macaws enjoy raucous celebrity status
Summer's early birds risk their return from wintering grounds
Mexican monarch butterfly numbers at record low, scientists say
Military three-step as birds drill for food through the late winter snow
Beachcombers to hunt out 'mermaid's purses' to help protect sharks
French troops return to the heart of D-day operations
A landscape bathed in cold brilliance
Birdwatch: Pied-billed grebe
National Wildlife Crime Unit left in funding doubt
86 elephants killed in Chad poaching massacre
Polar bear hunting and migration 'hit by warming climate'
Cloning extinct animals: to hell with frogs!
Spring is in the air and Zoroastrians and hares and pagans. And me
When the icy wind drops, the first hint of warmth can be felt in the sun
Don't let good zoos go extinct
  Eating fish: it's complicated
Two stories today further complicate the already vexed issue of eating fish.

The first is the news, if you can call it that, that eating oily fish is good for us. As far as most fish-eaters are concerned this is not an earth-shattering revelation. For years we've known, or have at least been told, that mackerel, herring, sardines and so on are all good stuff. But now it seems that loading up on omega-3s can add 2.2 years to your life, cutting "the overall risk of dying by as much as 27%", however that works.

Second up, and perhaps more significant, is the piscine challenge to the horsemeat scandal, with the discovery that fish counters and chippies are swimming with incorrectly labelled produce, including some fish that hadn't previously entered the food chain.

The connection between the two is that for all the health benefits imparted by fish, eating them is becoming ever more of a headache. Let's take the sainted mackerel, that sustainable, economical, plentiful, omega-3-rich, not to mention delicious specimen. Earlier this year we were told to control our mackerel-eating urges due to over-fishing. Never mind the (disputed) health benefits mackerel should now be a rare treat.

And a trip to the chippie, once a haddock-or-cod affair, has now been muddled not only by dissenting voices about the ethics of eating cod, but also by the possibility that your simple fish supper consists of a frozen and air-freighted monster of the Mekong.

So where does one begin? Who do we trust?

"Labelling fish accurately is a very difficult thing to do," says fishmonger Robin Moxon. "Every restaurant in town seems to have 'hand-dived' scallops, but I've only ever met two divers. When I get my fish out of Plymouth I know pretty much exactly where it's been fished. But with a new supplier you don't know if it's come from way out at sea, and isn't quite as local as you might have thought."

Perhaps you don't know, but you can, says Calum Richardson at the Bay Fish and Chips in Stonehaven. His chippy has digital menus that display the name and registration of the boat that caught the fish on that particular day. "All the boats have GPS, so every time they drop their nets they log where they were dropped, at what time, the species caught, and how much. When I get a box of fish delivered to the shop I know everything except the fishes' names."

I demolished an exemplary fish supper from Richardson's shop in November (Maimai FR432 was the fishing boat, if you're asking), and was pleased when it was awarded Best Fish and Chips in the UK at this year's Fish and Chips Awards. According to Richardson, six out of 10 of the finalists had bought fish from his supplier in Peterhead.

Just as the horsemeat hoo-ha has been good for proper butchers, so too may news of fishy labelling prove positive for fishmongers. But both also demonstrate the fact that as consumers we can't entirely trust what goes on a label, whether scrawled by hand on a fish counter or printed on a ready meal.

All this confusion the sustainability or otherwise of certain species, the codliness or otherwise of our fish suppers, Saint Hugh's "misleading and one-sided" Fish Fight gives weight and urgency to this ongoing problem, and we can be confident that sooner, rather than later, Friday's dinner won't be such an ethical minefield.
Hundreds of wild boars face cull in Forest of Dean
Grand National protesters accuse Channel 4 of exploiting deaths of horses
Kenya's Maasai keep lions at bay with solar power and ingenuity
Week-old baby died after being bitten by jack russell, inquest hears
Avian flu: Chinese pigeon fanciers vaccinate tens of thousands of birds
Art Deco among the ducks
The silent socialisers of the insect world
Firefighters tackle blaze at Scottish zoo
Scottish zoo fire leaves animals and reptiles dead
Upon the Yare three grebe pairs were all in display
Chinese vessel on Philippine coral reef caught with illegal pangolin meat
Stricken seabirds wash up along south coast of England
Circuses to be banned from using wild animals
Demand for lion bones offers South African breeders a lucrative return
Edinburgh zoo pandas 'ready to mate'
Humans that harm animals should be held accountable
Today the brimstones are out, careering up and down the rides
English farmers to be reimbursed for sheep killed in snowstorms
Rhino heads seized in gang raid on Ireland's national museum
On this bright morning, the redwing are looking particularly smart
The Chinese sanctuary with pandas at play
Australia's koala crisis
Edinburgh's female panda artificially inseminated
Scientists attack government climbdown on marine protection
French fisherman survives crocodile attack in Australia
Oxford college under attack over plans to display live shark at ball
Wood anemones bewitched by the wind
Shark's off at Oxford black-tie ball
Appetite for caviar could see paddlefish suffer sturgeon's fate
One day last week something other than water came out of the fountain
China loves pork too much
New to Nature No 100: Eleodes wheeleri
Bollywood actors charged in poaching case
Salisbury travel tips: great bustard birdwatching on the plain
Farewell to Nick Boing, Wales's very own superstar sheep
South African minister backs legalisation of rhino horn trade
Cold spring kills thousands of newborn lambs
Rolling snowballs the size of tumbledriers down the hill
Ranger corruption 'impeding global fight against poaching'
The grey seal's bewhiskered face bore an expression of pure contentment
A new, ethical way to buy fish from the fisherman
Dangerous dogs policy in the wake of the terrible death of Jade Anderson
Red squirrels are intensely curious creatures, and extraordinarily pretty
Freezing weather brings fresh perils for British wildlife
Paparazzi reception for an elusive star of the natural world the otter
Eating fish: it's complicated
Do you think the Grand National is cruel?
Cod and chips could be a load of pollock
Farmers call for help over mounting sheep deaths
Chinese fishing fleet in African waters reports 9% of catch to UN
South African game reserve poisons rhino's horns to prevent poaching
Cats leave their mark on centuries of books
Visit Statistics