Good Catch…the essentials
FREE publication - Core information to improve seafood sustainability
MIX UP THE MENU
Think about serving less-familiar seafood species. These non-traditional choices can be great value for money. Revitalise your offerings and give commonly exploited species a rest. Cooking new seafood creatively can inspire further demand for alternative species from your customers.
Businesses in the culinary sector can advance seafood sustainability by making improvements to buying practices. As culinary professionals you have to balance many factors, including price, quality, availability and sustainability, when choosing what to source. Good Catch does not seek to dictate to caterers what seafood you should or should not serve but aims to provide you with information that will help you make the best choices for you, your business and our oceans.
When deciding what seafood to source, the principle of 'Avoid the Worst, Promote the Best and Improve the Rest' has proved useful to several leading businesses and organisations.
Buying fish that eat low on the food chain can be more sustainable that larger predatory fish which need more food and time to grow and are susceptible to overfishing. Also a bonus, some of these species are small, oily fish that are a good source of healthy omega 3 oils.
Avoid selling seafood that has serious ongoing environmental impacts. Establish a timeline to reduce and eliminate unsustainable species from your menu.
- To help you identify which seafood options are generally best avoided, visit the Marine Conservation Society (MCS) website to see which fisheries and farm-systems are rated as a number 5 - 'Fish to Avoid'.
Choose demonstrably sustainable seafood that addresses local, regional, and global environmental issues. Make the most of these sustainable options on your menu and look to increase the proportion of these best choices that you source.
When buying fresh, wild seafood celebrate it at its peaky ordering with the seasons and highlighting this on your menu. Avoiding buying fish during their spawning season allows species to breed and replenish their populations (not an issue if you are using farmed or frozen fish).
- To help you identify the best seafood choices, look for credible sustainability certification schemes such as the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC).
- Where seafood is not certified sustainable, ensure your seafood is 'demonstrably sustainable' by asking for clear evidence of production methods and traceability from your supplier.
- Visit the MCS website to see which fish stocks and farming methods MCS rate as best choices: numbers 1 & 2 - 'Fish to Eat'.
Use your influence in the supply chain to try and improve the numerous seafood options that currently have some sustainability challenges (e.g. rated as 3 or 4 by MCS).
Be as flexible as possible to adapt to availability of sustainable seafood. Seafood 'specials' can draw attention to a specific sustainable option of the day, or describing dishes as 'fish' or 'seafood' on your written menu means you don't pin yourself down to a particular species (but be sure your front of house staff know the exact species so they can promote it to your customers).
- If purchasing less sustainable seafood, source from suppliers and producers that are willing to work proactively to improve the sustainability performance of fisheries or farms‚ and can show you evidence that they are doing this.
- Phase out those fisheries, producers, and suppliers that refuse to improve their environmental performance or refuse to show you evidence of their products‚ sustainability and traceability.
TICK THE BOX
Check out 'the fish with the tick' at www.msc.org and start serving seafood that is certified as sustainable.