Footprint Blog

Fishermen’s Tales

Posted in Comment,Provenance,Sustainability,Sustainable Sourcing by foodservicefootprint on October 26, 2009
'But I caught them over there.....honest!'

'But I caught them over there.....honest!'

Not long after the launch of online seafood restaurant guide,, Le Manoir Aux Quat’Saisons has gone public with its sustainable sourcing policy. Owner Raymond Blanc’s iconic restaurant has posted a full statement on its website about its fish purchasing policy and is updating its menus to give customers more information about its seafood dishes.

The new website is the brainchild of the team behind the film The End of Line, which addresses the crisis of diminishing fish stocks in our oceans. The guide scores the country’s fish restaurants, not on their food and ambience, but according to the degree to which they are contributing to the destruction of the world’s ocean ecosystems by serving endangered fish.

Integral to the fish2fork team is End of the Line’s author, Charles Clover. Interviewed by Foodservice Footprint, he was asked if he felt the out of home sector was doing enough to support sustainable fishing – “Absolutely not. I think we all need to sharpen up, but we are at the bottom of a learning curve on what can be done. People who source their fish in Europe need to be aware that many fisheries they take their fish from would be regarded as disaster areas in America. Cod and herring on the west coast of Scotland, for example, cod in the North Sea, though there has been a small improvement, plaice just about everywhere. In the US there would be closed areas and fishing with much more selective gears. If European regulators won’t make these things happen, then it is going to be consumers and the big players in the food industry who have to make them happen.”

In the foodservice industry, buying sustainably is all about the credibility of the supply source and operators should beware economies with the truth when it comes to supplier statements. All is not as it seems. Fish2fork’s grading system is flushing out the good, the bad and the ugly. At the very least, it will make operators a little more forensic when it comes to assessing supply sources.

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