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Diners call for restaurants to serve sustainable fish

By Becky Paskin , 09-Jun-2009

Related topics: People

As the issue of sustainable fishing practices is becoming more prevalent, almost 90 per cent of diners are calling for restaurants to serve only ethically sourced seafood

Almost 90 per cent of British diners have said they want restaurants to serve only sustainable seafood on their menus, as almost three quarters are unaware which fish are close to extinction.

 

A YouGov survey of 2,000 UK adults commissioned by Waitrose reveals that consumers are not educated enough about sustainable fishing issues, with 78 per cent of them admitting they don’t bother to choose seafood from a sustainable source.

 

However, upon informing them of sustainable fishing issues, 70 per cent claimed they would be more likely to seek out seafood from sustainable sources, with over half prepared to pay twice the price for more ethical food.

 

Mark Price, Waitrose managing director, said: “The booming human population could wipe out fish stocks within this century if we don`t act now. This is an environmental disaster, and it will have a real and tangible impact on us all as consumers, retailers, chefs, or fishermen. Given the facts, 70 per cent of people want to buy sustainable fish, so it is our responsibility to make that possible.”

 

The news comes as the release of The End of the Line , a film by Charles Clover described as An Inconvenient Truth for the oceans, has inspired a high profile list of celebrities including Sienna Miller, Charlize Theron, Sting and Woody Harrelson to send a letter to Nobu Matsuhisa, chef owner of Nobu , to request that he stop serving Bluefin tuna on his menu.

 

The Japanese restaurant has continued to serve the endangered species with a warning on the menu to diners about its proximity to extinction, but claims there ‘is a demand for this delicacy at all our restaurants’.

 

High street food retailers have also started to move toward providing food from sustainable sources, with Pret A Manger founder Justin Metcalfe removing unethically caught tuna from sandwiches and sushi boxes sold at its UK stores. Marks and Spencer has also announced it is to source only pole and line or line-caught tuna for its fresh foods by the end of June, with the same happening for canned tuna by the end of the year.

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