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Fish Friers

UK chippies get out the bunting to celebrate nationwide Sustainable Seafood campaign

Article Date: 2020-09-18

Fish and chip shops across the country are rallying around a national sustainable seafood movement and urging consumers to #ChooseTheBlueFish as part of a nationwide campaign organised by the Marine Stewardship Council.

During its first Sustainable Seafood Week, and month long national awareness campaign, the MSC UK is celebrating the hard work of the UK fishing industry and food sector in bringing sustainable certified seafood to our plates, while ensuring plenty of fish in the sea for future generations. This follows what has been a very difficult time for the industry due to Covid-19 with many across the global seafood supply chain affected. Fish and chips shops were severely impacted and some closed door for several months during the height of lockdown having to go through extraordinary efforts to get back up and running to provide the nation with?one of its favourite takeaways. 

With the oceans now at crisis point, as highlighted in documentaries such as Blue Planet and the recently aired Extinction: The Facts, consumers are being asked to play their part by only buying seafood from certified, sustainable sources. Oceans contain up to 80% of life on earth 1 but over a third of fisheries around the world are fished beyond sustainable limits, and a further 60% fished to their maximum capacity 2. Looking for the blue fish ecolabel on supermarket shelves, restaurants and chippies is one way to help make a difference.  

During the MSC’s first Sustainable Seafood Week, fish and chip shop owners who serve MSC certified sustainable fish, have decorated their shops and taken to social media with videos and posts urging their customers to choose seafood with the MSC’s blue ecolabel. 

James Astles, manager of Paignton Pier Chippy, Devon, said: “We’ve had an amazing time doing our bit for Sustainable Seafood Week. Our staff have been chatting to customers about why we only stock MSC certified fish and the importance of sustainability, not just for us as a business, but for everyone in their local supermarket.

“The response has been overwhelmingly positive as it seems more and more people are recognising the effect being mindful can have on our planet, which is wonderful to see.” 

Josette Foster, owner of Fish and Chips @ Weston Grove, Chester, said: “We’ve all absolutely loved being part of?this week and the MSC team made it so easy for us to get involved. We’ve included people of all ages in our campaign highlighting the importance of sustainable seafood for everyone. The campaign has had such a positive response that we feel it is just the start of a great movement and we won’t stop here.”

Loren Hiller, Senior Commercial Officer at the Marine Stewardship Council , said:"It’s been wonderful to see the enthusiasm of the MSC certified fish and chip shops across the country supporting our first Sustainable Seafood Week. Consumers care about where their seafood comes from and are increasingly concerned about the sustainability of their purchases.

“Choosing wild-caught fish from fish and chip shops which carry the MSC ecolabel provides consumers with assurance that their seafood comes from a sustainable, well-managed fishery which minimises its impact on the marine environment.”

UK consumers agree. A recent study undertaken for the MSC by the independent insights and strategy consultancy Globescan, reveals that 8 in 10 UK seafood consumers believe we need to protect fish for future generations, with 7 in 10 believing that in order to achieve this we need to consume fish and seafood only from sustainable sources.  

Across the month of September, through its first nationwide campaign, the MSC UK is championing UK certified fisheries and the fishermen who are doing ‘What it Takes’ to keep seafood in the oceans, and on our plates, forever. 

As the MSC’s firss UK Sustainable Seafood Week (September 10 to 17) draws to a close, it will host its final Sustainable Seafood Supper with award-winning seafood restaurateur, food writer and MSC ambassador Mitch Tonks.  The chef, who runs the Rockfish chain, will be creating a sustainable seafood recipe while answering questions and comments from viewers in real time. The livestream can be watched this evening at 6pm on Instagram and will be available here afterwards with all the other Sustainable Seafood Suppers.

Fish Friers