The Managing Director of Loch Fyne Restaurants is urging the hospitality industry to take the lead in buying sustainable fish to help preserve the world’s fish stocks.
Speaking out with the release of a report examining the long-term sustainability of world fish stocks, Mark Derry said that while consumers were becoming increasingly interested in where fish comes from, it hadn’t yet translated into what was appearing on their plates.
He said: “There is clearly a disconnect between the importance people place on sustainability, and what they actually choose to sit down and eat. I would encourage consumers to consider the sustainability of the fish they eat, but restaurants have a responsibility to do the right thing on their behalf.”
The survey Turning the Tide on Sustainability, commissioned by Loch Fyne, found that more people (66 per cent) are interested in whether their food is organic or Fairtrade than sustainable. Thirty-seven per cent of adults always or sometimes check if the fish they buy is ethically sourced, whilst 27 per cent never check.
Celebrity chef Nick Nairn and food journalist Alex Renton are among those in the industry who are backing the call for more people to check the sustainability of their fish.
“Many people don’t know enough about the source of their food, and it’s often confusing which fish should and should not be used. Government and industry have a responsibility to help consumers understand their eating habits affect the sustainability of fish stocks. If we can change people’s outlook, then we can tackle problems facing fish stocks, because the power of the pound in people’s pockets is huge,” said Nairn.
Meanwhile, the sea fish industry authority Seafish has warned that fish prices could rise by as much as 50 per cent because of the rising cost of diesel.
The cost of fuel for fishing vessels rose from 31p to 60p per litre between 2007 and 2008 and according to economists at Seafish that figure is set to rise with the prediction that crude oil prices could rise by up to $200 per barrel.
“There’s a lot we can do to try to mitigate cost increases, including looking at different fishing methods and improvements to gear technology. Nonetheless, consumers must be prepared for significant increases in the cost of seafood if we are to continue to have a viable catching, processing and distribution sector in the UK,” said Philip MacMullen, Head of Environment at Seafish.
To see the report visit the Loch Fyne website.
Shark taken off the menu
MSC†rewarded for fish friendliness
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