Fishers’ and TV chefs’ plea to eat local fish

Britain’s small scale more sustainable fishers have been plunged into crisis by the COVID19 pandemic.

In response to this the fishing community, chefs and food writers have penned an open letter – coordinated by Greenpeace UK – calling on the public to buy more locally caught seafood to help support them through the crisis.

The letter is signed by representatives of the fishing community and chefs including Yotam Ottolenghi, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall and Thomasina Miers. It argues that the British public should move away from the “big 5” species of fish (cod, haddock, salmon, tuna and prawns) we overwhelmingly consume, which are largely imported and caught by the industrial fishing fleet, and experiment more with the fish caught by the local British fleet, most of which is exported.

Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall said:

“Our over-reliance on the same few fish species we all are so used to is pushing many fish populations to the brink of collapse. So ringing the changes when you shop for fish is really important – it helps keep our oceans healthy and diverse.”

Philip Evans, oceans campaigner at Greenpeace UK, said:

“While the industrial supertrawler fleet relentlessly fishes in UK waters, our oceans and our fishing communities are in crisis. Luckily, there’s a way for people to help both at the same time. For those who chose to eat seafood, by eating a more diverse range of locally caught fish you can help support our fishing communities instead of the destructive industrial supertrawler fleet, and build a healthier ocean for the future.”

Thomasina Miers said:

“I try, as far as possible, to buy fish from my local fishmonger, or farmer’s markets, where I know it is coming from small day boats and not from large trawlers.  I also keep an eye on the Good Fish guide which monitors fish that have sustainable stocks, and ones that we should definitely avoid.”

Which Local Fish?

Seafood to experiment with to support our local low impact fishers:
Shellfish: Mussels, Oysters, Crabs, Lobsters, Langoustines (creel caught), scallops (hand dived), Cuttlefish (trap caught)

Oily Fish: Mackerel, Herring, Rainbow Trout

White Fish: Hake, Coley, Monkfish, Pollack, Whiting and Lemon Sole

The “big 5” industrially caught fish, that don’t often help out our low impact inshore fishers:

Cod, haddock, tuna, salmon, prawns

Read the open letter Fishers’ and TV chefs’ plea to eat local fish to save Britain’s fishing communities at Greenpeace.