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Chefs and fishermen from 12 countries unite to support sustainable seafood in cookbook

A Scottish haddock fisherman is one of twelve fishermen from around the world to star in a new sustainable seafood cookbook from the Marine Stewardship Council, the organisation responsible for the world’s leading sustainable seafood ecolabel.

The unique cookbook showcases each recipe alongside a fisherman who caught the species.

The Scottish haddock recipe – MSC haddock with fennel, lemon and black olives  – has been created by Cornish restaurateur and UK MSC ambassador Mitch Tonks.

The Ocean Cookbook, free to download from the Marine Stewardship Council’s website from January 6, 2022, is a global collaboration between 12 award-winning chefs and sustainable fishermen from around the world, united in the belief that sustainable fishing is a must if we are to protect our oceans.  

Using seafood from MSC certified fisheries, the digital cookbook highlights how easy it is to rustle up healthy, sustainable seafood dishes at home. 

Andrew Bremner, from the Scottish Fisheries Sustainable Accreditation Group (SFSAG), said it was important to promote sustainable Scottish fish.

 The MSC label shows the consumer “it is a sustainable and safe product to eat and you are not harming the stock,” he said. “You have to make sure you are guaranteeing a future in the job,” he adds. “I want to be doing this for another 30 or 40 years. It’s in my interest to fish within sustainable levels. This has to do with the science. With haddock you are only taking out a safe level. You are not scratching the surface of what is there.”

The haddock he catches is sold within the UK, to supermarkets as well as being a staple in Scottish fish and chip shops.

Mitch Tonks, MSC Chef ambassador & restaurateur, said: “When you choose fish with the blue MSC ecolabel on, you can be absolutely sure where it has come from. Not only that, you are also protecting communities, livelihoods and the traditions of fishermen all around the world. Most importantly, making a sustainable choice means that we have fish for the future, and we all want that – right?”

George Clark, MSC UK & Ireland Programme Director, said: “We know that more home cooks have enjoyed finding amazing new recipes online and digital cookbooks are a planet friendly way to new MSC fish recipes in one place. We’re very proud to be working with top chefs from around the world who understand the importance of only using sustainable seafood. With this cookbook project, it’s been a unique opportunity for the fishers who harvest the 12 sustainable species, to work with the chefs who create these delicious dishes.”

The cookbook includes stunning photography from internationally renowned food photographer, David Loftus. Having worked with Jamie Oliver throughout his career and named Professional Photographer Magazine’s 65th ‘most influential photographer of all time’, David Loftus is a great believer in sustainable fishing.

David said of the cookbook and his involvement in the project: “This goes way beyond food.  It’s about the future of our ocean. We need to step up to the plate right now... or we’re in deep water. It meant so much to work with the offerings of these dedicated fishers and amazing chefs because they are showing how buying sustainably caught seafood helps to create truly sustainable seas.” 

 Other recipes featured in the book are a warm puttanesca-style salad using sustainable squid from the Northeast Atlantic coast of the USA by MSC Chef Ambassador Gregory Gourdet; and roasted flaked Pacific halibut in a salad topped with crunchy seeds from Canadian MSC Ambassador, Chef Charlotte Langley. In Italy, Chef Lello Palomba used Anchovies from the MSC certified Cantabrian fishery in Spain for his red pepper pesto pasta.