McDonald’s Commitment to Sustainable Seafood

Disclosure: I did not receive compensation from McDonald’s for the development of this post. I did, however, receive the card game Reel It In! free of charge as a gift from the brand.

McDonald’s is on the forefront when it comes to serving sustainable seafood and supporting sustainable fishing methods. Not only is their Filet-O-Fish sandwich made from certified-sustainable Alaskan pollock, but they—in partnership with the Marine Stewardship Council—have developed the card game Reel It In! to help raise awareness and teach children the importance of sustainable seafood.


“The Marine Stewardship Council is proud to be a part of McDonald’s sustainability journey, and its dedication to supporting fishermen and companies doing the right thing. Supporting communities that depend on fish, promoting sustainable practices and ensuring traceability along the supply chain through the MSC program help to ensure that our children and grandchildren will be able to enjoy seafood for generations to come.” – Brian Perkins, Regional Director Americas, MSC

FiletOFishThe Filet-O-Fish: just for fun, a brief history
Looking to recapture Catholic patrons during the Lenten season, Cincinnati franchise owner, Lou Groen created the Filet-O-Fish sandwich in 1962. It became a permanent menu item one year later after beating out founder Ray Kroc’s hula burger—a, you guessed it, grilled piece of pineapple with cheese nestled into a cold bun. (YUM! Only, not.)

Good Friday, 1962: The hula burger and the Filet-O-Fish had it out—the fish sandwich won, selling 350 compared to 6, and in doing so won bragging rights and menu rights.

For a brief two years (1996-1998) the sandwich was removed from menus and replaced with the Fish Filet Deluxe. But, the “superior” sandwich failed and the Filet-O-Fish rebounded in all its glory—only this time with a slightly bigger filet, and was back on menus throughout the country by the end of ‘98.

Once made from New Zealand’s hoki fish, the Filet-O-Fish is now 100 percent wild-caught pollack from Alaskan waters and is certified sustainable by the Marine Stewardship Council.

“McDonald’s longstanding commitment to sustainable seafood sourcing has set an important industry standard and sends the message that science-based fisheries management is good for the environment, the economy, and people who love to eat fish. We commend them for their continued leadership and unwavering support for sustainable seafood.”- Matt Tinning, Associate Vice President of the Oceans Program at Environmental Defense Fund

ReelItIn_playingNow for the Fun
The Reel It In! card game puts a sustainable “spin” on the classic Go Fish game and you can download, and print it to play with friends. A great teaching tool for the classroom and home, it teaches children the importance of sustainable fishing and the future health of our oceans, all while playing a game. And it’s rumored that Ronald himself has a summer home on Filet-O-Fish Lake; really, I hear, though I can’t confirm, that he, Hamburglar, Captain Crook and Mayor McCheese, can often be found bayside just taking in the beauty and wonder of it all, all whilst playing a round of Reel It In!  ; )

Four Fishy Facts

  • Nearly 25 percent of all Filet-O-Fish sales occur during Lent
  • The original Filet-O-Fish cost $0.29
  • During certain times of the year, you can get an Old Bay Filet-O-Fish in participating Mid-Atlantic McDonalds
  • At 379 calories, the Filet-O-Fish has 15 grams of protein and is an excellent source of vitamin B

Now what are you waiting for? Go get a Filet-O-Fish and download Reel It In! And when you’re out and about on your summer road trip, let me know if you stumble across Filet-O-Fish Lake; I hear the fishing’s great there and would love to visit sometime!

Coming up NEXT WEEK on the blog … part two in my three-part series on tuna, “How best to grill tuna,” and “The truth behind dolphin-safe labeling.”

Want more from The Midwest Mermaid? Be sure to follow along here, and on Instagram for all the latest in seafood news and chews | @shaunanosler

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DISCLAIMER: I’m a writer and an editor. And I try my best to make sure every post is articulate and free from errors. However, being that I edit my own work—and it’s next to impossible to properly edit your own work—I admit, occasionally there may be an error or two I miss. But doing so doesn’t make me an idiot so don’t be mean. Just smile, pat yourself on the back for finding an error and be glad you’re not the only one who makes mistakes sometimes … yes, even mermaids slip up every now and then. xoxox