When we’re buying fish, we know we should be looking out for sustainable labels. But in a restaurant, it’s much harder: how does your average diner know where the fish came from?
Borough Market-based British restaurant Roast has teamed up with Lyme Bay Fisheries and Conservation Reserve, and marine conservation charity Blue Marine Foundation (BLUE), in a bid to support sustainable fishing.
Its Reserve Seafood brand, launched in 2015, markets 29 species of premium, provenance-assured seafood caught in Lyme Bay.
With the world’s oceans increasingly depleted of everything except for plastic, it seems, it’s good to see a leading chef taking a stance to promote sustainability – all too often a buzzword without much substance.
But it’s nothing new. Roast’s ethos has long meant championing local suppliers and sustainable ingredients, with Executive Chef Paul Shearing travelling the breadth of the country to form personal relationships with suppliers, farmers and producers.
It’s a great personal mission for Paul. “I’m extremely proud to be partnering with such a respected organisation as BLUE.
"This topic is one I am deeply passionate about, borne from my upbringing in Dorset paired with my career as a chef. I’m looking forward to educating and hopefully igniting that same passion in others”.
How does BLUE work? Dedicated to creating marine reserves and establishing sustainable models of fishing, the charity focuses its work on combating over-fishing and the destruction of biodiversity.
This is arguably the largest problem faced by the world’s oceans. To do this, it offers practical conservation solutions, including the creation of large-scale marine reserves.
And how. Established in 2010 by some of the team behind the award-winning documentary, The End of the Line, BLUE has so far helped to place nearly four million square kilometres of ocean under protection, including a no-take zone nearly the size of the UK around Ascension Island.
Its mission is the active and effective protection of 10% of the world’s oceans by 2020 and 30% by 2030.
Persuading fishermen, conservationists, scientists and regulators to work collaboratively under a voluntary code of conduct, BLUE has proved that there is a sweet spot between fishing and conservation where you can fish less but catch more and guarantee consistent quality of the fish.