Sustainable Fish City News - Spring 2012
Racing to a Sustainable Fish Future
Signatories to the campaign to make London the world’s first Sustainable Fish City keep on coming in! New supporters include some of London’s top spots such as Bistrot Bruno Loubet, Daniel Boulud’s Bar Boulud, Anna Hansen MBE’s Modern Pantry, Mark Hix’s fast expanding group, the Caprice group and Pascal Proyart’s One o One. Also, a warm welcome to our old friend Laurence Keogh, who recently became head chef at the Wolseley and, with sister restaurant the Delaunay, have joined the campaign. We are absolutely delighted that Rhubarb’s Café Consort at the Royal Albert Hall has joined. Thanks to you all! See an up-to-date list of signatories here
With less than 100 days until the Olypmic Games we have been working with the organisers of London 2012 as the caterers review the sustainability of the fish they plan to serve. We are very grateful to our friends at the Marine Conservation Society, Marine Stewardship Council and SeaWeb for the huge amounts of help and time they have given.
Thanks are also due to the kind people from the Suffolk Herring Festival
who recently ran a public meeting to discuss a campaign for Suffolk to become the first Sustainable Fish County.
We are delighted to be able to draw on the invaluable campaign expertise of the Chief Executive of Compassion in World Farming, Philip Lymbery, who has agreed to chair the Sustainable Fish City working party. With an estimated third of the global fish catch being used to feed for intensively farmed animals there are clear links to the campaign. Philip is also a keen bird watcher.
Sustainable Fish Forum
On 26th January Raymond Blanc OBE, ambassador for the Sustainable Fish City campaign, welcomed 100 guests to Fishmongers’ Hall by London Bridge and the River Thames. Participants included Michelin-starred chefs, independent restaurant owners, some of the UK’s largest restaurant and pub chains, policymakers, fish sustainability experts and fishermen. We aimed to discuss how to use the power of the restaurant and catering industry to transform the market for sustainable fish, and what practical support was needed to achieve this.
Recognising the huge advances in the catering industry’s awareness of the issues, Raymond Blanc praised many of those already taking a lead. Examples include removing endangered species from menus, paying attention to where and how their farmed prawns are produced, supporting smaller and sustainable fishers, and promoting fish from sustainably managed fisheries, as verified by the Marine Stewardship Council.
Urging the hospitality industry to act now, Raymond Blanc highlighted the combined buying power of the attendees – millions of pounds worth of fish every year - saying: “Today’s chef is not only a craftsman, he also needs to be a teacher, a transmitter of values and an expert in sustainability issues – and, of course, he needs to make money. It is a tough ask. Welcome to the new world! Actually all this is really to the good – for chefs are now reconnecting with the true values of gastronomy.”
Also speaking at the event, EU Commissioner for Fisheries and Maritime Affairs, Maria Damanaki, paid tribute to the attendees and the campaign, “The Sustainable Fish City initiative in London is a perfect example of how you are driving change in the world towards better and more tasty menus.”
Would you serve panda meat?
Guests also heard from the Marine Stewardship Council on the increasing range of certified sustainable seafood now available, and from the conservation science organisation, the Marine Conservation Society, which likened putting the endangered Atlantic halibut on a menu as the environmental equivalent of serving up panda. Chefs also learned about the practicalities of serving sustainable fish from SeaWeb’s Seafood Choices, who presented practical tips and guidance from the Good Catch initiative to help chefs buy the right fish and engage staff and customers.
Raymond Blanc concluded, “This Sustainable Fish Forum has been extraordinary. We have a roomful of restaurateurs, hoteliers and group owners who are willing to listen and want to bring sustainability to their kitchens and restaurants. This tells us that the world is changing, that chefs are an emerging force to lead us towards better fishing practices and better sustainability.”
See Raymond’s speech here
and Commissioner Damanaki’s speech here.Feng Sushi Net Top Prize
The prestigious Sustainable City Awards, run by the City of London, recognise efforts by businesses, social enterprises and the public sector to reduce their impact on the environment. This year the food category was dedicated to fish and judged by Sustainable Fish City ambassador Raymond Blanc, SeaWeb’s Emily Howgatge, Chris Leftwich from the Worshipful Company of Fishmongers, Head of Sustainable Development at the City of London Simon Mills and Sustainable Fish City’s Jon Walker.
The food category had a record breaking number of entries of consistently high standards. Entrants ranged from passionate independents to multinational businesses, all of whom were taking action on buying and serving sustainable fish. Six finalists were then interviewed by the judges. Choosing the six finalists was hard enough, but choosing the winner and highly commended was extremely difficult as all finalists displayed knowledge and passion. The six finalists were as follows:
Feng Sushi (http://www.fengsushi.co.uk
), a chain of seven sushi restaurants, most recently opening a unit in Billingsgate Fish Market delivering into Canary Wharf. This shows London’s fish market that restaurants want traceable and sustainable fish. Marine Stewardship Council certified.
Duke of Cambridge (http://www.dukeorganic.co.uk/
), the first and only certified organic gastropub. All fish is Marine Conservation Society green rated and from small in-shore fishers or organic farms. Marine Stewardship Council certified.
Lussmans (http://www.lussmanns.com/), a local fish and grill with a difference, with line-caught fish from day boats and free range meat.
), contract catering company serving millions of meals a year, and in the process of gaining Marine Stewardship Council chain of custody. No Marine Conservation Society red rated species are served and they are working with chefs to use more Marine Conservation Society green rated species.
Colmans of South Shields (http://www.colmansfishandchips.com
), a fish and chip shop with sustainable fish at the heart of what it does. Underutilised species and Marine Stewardship Council certified fish are on the menu here.
Moshi Moshi (http://www.moshimoshi.co.uk
). There is extensive use of small in-shore fishers who, through Moshi Moshi owner’s Pisces Responsible Fish Restaurants (http://www.pisces-rfr.org
) initiative, have been introduced to a number of London restaurants. They have excellent communication material and sustainability initiatives. Marine Stewardship Council certified.
We were also delighted to see Sustainable Fish City signatories the Castle Climbing Centre (http://www.castle-climbing.co.uk
) pick up awards for sustainable procurement and sustainable building. Long-time sustainable food champion Mike Duckett MBE, and his team at the Royal Brompton Hospital, collected awards for sustainable procurement and leadership in sustainability.
If you are not a subscriber to the Sustainable Fish City Newsletter and would like to sign up visit http://www.sustainweb.org/sustainablefishcity/signup/