Monday, 19 October 2009

a fishy tale

that sustainability story just won't go away! in this week's 'sunday times', there's a report by environmental journalist charles clover into where the fish served in britain's restaurants actually comes from.

the rather shocking bottom line to the story is that, in many of the best restaurants, chefs who should know better are serving endangered fish. culprits in the uk include celebrity haunt nobu, which has endangered bluefin tuna on its menu, and (perhaps surprisingly) the poster boy for fish, rick stein, who has a range of fish on his menu which are on the marine conservation society's 'fish to avoid' list - halibut, wild salmon, turbot and Dover sole.

this is an issue that i often raise with chefs when i interview them and the depressing reality is that most of them subscribe to the 'taste has no politics' party. they want to do good things but customer demand etc etc etc...

it's an issue that affects me deeply.strangely you might think for a food lover, i've not eaten meat since i was 20 years old but i'm a fish fanatic. the thought of not eating again such 'common' species as haddock and hale is hard to accept, but accept it we need to do in order to help save at least a good proportion of the dozen of fish species currently at risk.

change is possible to help save some of the marine conservation society's 'at danger' 69 species. we just have to learn to say 'no' and to make it clear to restaurants that we're not happy that they're still serving fish they shouldn't.

but how do you find out what's at risk? the easiest way is to download the 'fish to eat' and 'fish to avoid' from the marine conservation society's web site: print them out and slip them in your pocket or bag when you go out to eat - together we can make a difference.

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