The biggest step when it comes to addressing sustainability issues can be the first. Follow some simple advice from Good Catch, which works with the foodservice industry to support the use of a more diverse and sustainable seafood range.
- Get Quizzical: Ask your fish supplier the what, when, where and how of catching and farming your seafood. Anything they can't answer they should be able to find out - once they know it's important to you it will be important to them.
- Mix Up The Menu: Think about serving different seafood species, and give commonly exploited species a rest. Cooking new seafood creatively can inspire further demand for alternative species from your customers.
- Go Low: Buying fish that eat low on the food chain can be more sustainable than larger, predatory fish which need more food and time to grow and are susceptible to over-fishing.
- Seasonal Specials: Order with the seasons and highlight this on your menu. Avoiding buying fish during their spawning season allows species to breed and replenish their populations.
- Tick-ety Boo: Check out 'the fish with the tick' at www.msc.org and start serving seafood that is certified as sustainable.
- Flex It: Be as flexible as possible - specials can draw attention to a sustainable menu options, while simply describing dishes as 'fish' or 'seafood' - eg battered fish and chips - means you don't pin yourself down to a particular species.
- Poli-Sea: Having a seafood purchasing policy can help guide the decisions you and your team make as to which seafood you buy. A policy can also act as a public statement of your commitment to sustainable sourcing. See www.fishonline.org for MCS guidance on implementing a sustainable fish buying policy.
- Team Talk: Communicate the provenance of your produce with your whole team; get everyone interested and invigorated and sharing this with the customer. Engaging on seafood sustainability is something to celebrate.
- Spread the Word: Spreading the sustainability message with customers can build support for your business and for sustainable seafood in general. Front of house staff are key communicators; websites, menus, flyers and special events may also be useful.
- Delve Deeper: Stay up to date on conservation issues, practical ideas and events and seafood sustainability progress in the UK foodservice sector by emailing email@example.com to sign up to the monthly Fish Flash e-bulletin.
Thanks to Good Catch for advice