What is sustainable seafood?
Put simply, it means that the food on your plate has been managed and caught responsibly. This means you won’t be eating endangered species, and will be supporting people and fisheries that work with the future in mind. This ensures we can enjoy seafood for generations to come and in doing so we can improve the health of our oceans.
It’s important to support sustainable options at the supermarket and when dining out. To do this all you need is a little basic knowledge – or an app like the Good Fish Guide to remember it all for you!
Buying your own food is easy; check your shopping list doesn’t include any seafood on the Marine Conservation Society (MCS) Red List. Look out for Marine Stewardship Council (MSC), Aquaculture Stewardship and Freedom Food labels.
Eating out can be a bit trickier, as menus might not tell you exactly what fish goes into their fish pie. And once you find out what the fish is, how do you know if it’s sustainable?
Well, there are some safe options if the restaurant can’t tell you themselves.
Prawns: Choose small prawns; large prawns are likely to be farmed, and if your restaurant can’t confirm whether or not they are organic, it’s best to give them a miss.
Salmon: Choose farmed, not wild, unless the restaurant can confirm it has been caught from a river with a healthy salmon population.
Cod and Haddock: North Sea fisheries have recently increased to healthy levels, with the best options being MSC certified.
With all of these things in mind, I’ve put together a list of the best places to eat sustainable seafood across the UK.J Sheeky Oyster Bar, London Located in the West End, the Oyster Bar is passionate about sustainable seafood. They commit to not serving anything on the MCS Red List, and support small UK fisheries. With a menu including Devon crab and Atlantic prawns alongside light seafood dishes, you can have a taste of the sea in the heart of London.
Rockfish, South Coast
This seafood restaurant has made its home in a variety of locations including Plymouth, Torquay and Dartmouth. One of the top rated restaurants of
Fish2Fork, they are proud to offer the freshest, most sustainable fish on the planet. There’s a great selection of dishes on offer; try Torbay calamari; Leigh-on-Sea cockles; choose a main from the‘ local fish’ menu.
Poco Cafe Bar, Bristol
This restaurant changes its menu seasonally, showcasing the best locally grown and sourced produce. As well as coming highly recommend by Fish2Fork, Poco won an award for‘ Best Casual Dining Restaurant’ in 2017. An excitingly varied menu always includes seafood; right now you can enjoy Dorset rock oysters, Pollack roe taramasalata and Highland mussels.
Captain’s Galley, Scotland
Ranked in the top 10 of the world’s most sustainable food restaurants, they have also picked up numerous awards each year and come highly recommended. They focus on serving truly seasonal and creative seafood dishes, which means that the menu will never be the same from one visit to the next! Currently on the menu are chargrilled scallops, blackened saithe and Gravadlax.
By Lara Skinsgley