Consumers urged to choose blue MSC ecolabel to protect ocean health and fish stocks
Two top chefs and a TikTok and Instagram creator will host Sustainable Seafood Suppers and share essential culinary skills in collaboration with the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC), as part of a range of activities for Sustainable Seafood Week 2022.
Chefs Mitch Tonks and James Strawbridge, along with food content creator Verna Gao (also known as @vernahungrybanana), will be showing seafood lovers how simple it is to cook delicious seafood that doesn’t cost the ocean, across the MSC’s digital channels, as well as sharing their top culinary tips for preparing and cooking fish. The suppers will all be live on the MSC’s website from September 16 and will launch across MSC UK’s Instagram and Facebook from Tuesday, September 20.
The first dish will come from MSC Ambassador Mitch, who is owner of the Rockfish restaurant chain, who will be making cooking MSC certified Cornish hake with fennel and orange on stunning Brixham Harbour.
He said: “Hake is a real sustainability success story and this local MSC hake is a firm favourite in our restaurants as well as in the online seafood market. It is a wonderful fish, soft, juicy and very luxurious. Surround it with salty anchovies and capers, fragrant fresh fennel and orange and a vibrant salsa verde and you have the perfect sustainable fish dish.”
New MSC Ambassador James Strawbridge is cooking a smoky crab stew using MSC certified Shetland brown crab, with pearl barley and Shetland bannock bread, as well as smoked MSC Shetland scallops with haggis. James will also be sharing essential seafood skills to help people learn how to shuck scallops and pick crab meat. His cook along videos were all shot on location in Shetland.
He said: “As a chef, there is nothing more important when cooking my food than choosing ingredients that make a positive impact on the environment and taste good. Scallops and brown crab are the perfect seafood choices for my Sustainable Seafood Suppers this year, with their fresh, meaty textures and ability to accompany bold flavours. Knowing they were sourced from local, certified sustainable fisheries that support rural, hardworking communities is a real plus – it’s brilliant to be able to cook great food and reduce your ocean impact all at once.”
Verna Gao, TikTok and Instagram recipe creator, is preparing chipotle prawn tacos using MSC certified coldwater prawns and a range of other budget-friendly ingredients from Lidl, proving that sustainable fish is accessible, family-friendly and easy to cook.
She said: “MSC coldwater prawns are an incredibly versatile and affordable way to enjoy sustainable seafood: you’ll find them in dishes ranging from prawn sandwiches to prawn cocktail, and of course, prawn tacos. Marinated in smoked paprika, lime and fresh coriander and piled on top of a fresh tortilla, with a zesty guacamole and simple slaw, this is a vibrant, quick and easy dish that won’t cost the ocean or the earth.”
As well as showing people which ingredients work best alongside fish and shellfish, the trio will be urging consumers to look for the blue MSC ecolabel when out shopping.
Seafood displaying the blue MSC ecolabel in supermarkets and restaurants comes from a fishery that maintains healthy fish stocks and minimises its environmental impact, and is certified to the MSC’s independent, leading standard for sustainable fishing.
George Clark, Programme Director for MSC UK and Ireland, said: “It’s fantastic to see everyone coming together this year for Sustainable Seafood Week, with James, Mitch and Verna providing some brilliant inspiration for consumers to switch up mealtimes using seafood with the blue MSC ecolabel. With one third of the world’s fish stocks overfished, it’s vital that seafood lovers join the national sustainable seafood movement. It’s as simple as choosing the blue fish.”
A recent study (1) carried out independently by GlobeScan consultancy on behalf of the MSC found that some 70% of UK consumers recognise that the fish and seafood choices they make can help make a difference to the health of our oceans, while 77% of people from the UK believe we should eat seafood only from sustainable sources.