Marine conservation groups push for greater uptake of sustainable fish
The Marine Conservation Society (MCS), Fish2fork and Sustainable Fish Cities have launched a campaign to gain public pledges from three of the largest restaurant chains in the UK to serve 100% demonstrably sustainable fish.
The campaign is asking members of the public to ‘Point the Fish Finger’ at high-street food outlets JD Wetherspoon, Café Rouge and Bella Italia by going online to tell them unsustainable seafood must be kept off the menu.
Each of the restaurant and pub groups are being asked to take Sustain’s Sustainable Fish Cities pledge - a public commitment to serve only demonstrably sustainable fish. To measure progress, they will then be assessed by Fish2fork and given a sustainability rating.
According to campaigners, the three restaurant groups serve more than 185m meals per year and represent around 12% of the high street restaurant market. It is estimated that 28,000 people eat Fish and Chips each week as part of JD Wetherspoons’ ‘Fish Friday’ alone.
In a recent survey by Fish2fork and MCS it was found that several restaurant chains were failing to demonstrate publicly that the seafood they were serving was sustainable. They included Café Rouge and Bella Italia, two of the UK’s best known and most popular high street restaurants.
Ruth Westcott, from Sustainable Fish Cities said: “These companies are more than overdue a shakeup of their fish policies. There are plenty of sustainable fish options available and in fact they may be doing some good things already, but without a clear commitment and strong, meaningful and publicly accessible fish policy, customers are left in the dark.”