MSC launches digital map of sustainable fisheries

The Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) has launched an online map that showcases sustainable fisheries in the UK and Ireland and information about the different species, history and fishing methods.

The wide range of sustainable seafood available in the UK and Ireland ranges from cockles fished in the Burry inlet in South Wales and the Dee estuary in North Wales, to sardines and hake in Cornwall, clams from Poole Harbour in Dorset, herring and mussels in Ireland and haddock, crab, scallops and mussels in Scotland. There are 17 new pages, with information about each MSC-certified sustainable fishery from across the UK and Ireland.

Sustainable seafood champions Mitch Tonks and James Strawbridge are urging British staycationers to try out the local seafood at their holiday spots this year and support the growing sustainable seafood movement.

Mitch Tonks, restaurateur from Rockfish in Devon and Dorset and The Seahorse in Dartmouth, said: “I love to source locally wherever possible across my restaurants, and this map will make it easier for diners to find out about different sustainable species when on holiday this year. We’re very lucky that our restaurant at Poole Quay is so close to the MSC-certified clam and cockle fishery.

“Clams have such a lovely meaty texture, and a fresh salty sea taste that is packed with flavour. I like using the smaller ones for cooking with spaghetti, and the larger ones in a simple chowder.”

Cornish chef, food photographer and author James Strawbridge said: “For me, there is nothing better than to cook with local seafood; it’s healthy, fresh and delicious and makes
a chef’s job easy. Whenever I travel around the coast of the UK, I always make a habit of asking after what the locals eat, and this new map is such a perfect way to tap into local knowledge, pick up some fishy facts and learn more about sustainable fish from our UK fisheries.

“When friends and chefs visit me in Cornwall, I always point them in the direction of Cornish hake or some fresh Cornish sardines, and now with this map, you can make your way around the coast of the UK. I think this will massively change the way we buy fish and engage with suppliers around the UK.”

Calum Richardson, owner of The Bay Fish and Chip Shop in Stonehaven, the first chippy to serve MSC-certified Scottish haddock, said: “We wanted to offer our customers Scottish haddock, and the fishery’s MSC certification reassured us that in doing so, we would be helping to protect fish stocks and the long-term livelihoods of Scottish fishing communities. Our customers are looking for sustainable, local fish and chips, and I am proud to source from a sustainable, well-managed fishery.”

Katie Keay, MSC senior fisheries outreach manager, UK and Ireland, said: “We’re really excited to launch this map, showing exactly where and how sustainable seafood across the UK and Ireland is fished.

“We hope it will encourage seafood lovers to try out different species when on holidays across the UK this year. Fishermen work extremely hard to ensure we have sustainable seafood to enjoy, and it’s great to be able to support them by choosing the blue MSC label, whether dining out or when shopping for seafood.”

Some 72% of UK seafood consumers believe we need to switch to only sustainable seafood sources, according to research conducted by insights consultancy GlobeScan for the MSC. The study also found that around 90% want better information so they can avoid making unsustainable choices.

You can find the map and information on the various fisheries here.

This story was taken from the latest issue of Fishing News. For more up-to-date and in-depth reports on the UK and Irish commercial fishing sector, subscribe to Fishing News here or buy the latest single issue for just £3.30 here.

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