10 February 2008

DSN Just One Thing Challenge #3 (UK Version)

Deep Sea News has just announced the third installment of their very important and worthy Just One Thing Challenge, a call for readers to pledge to do "just one thing" every week to help save the deep sea.

Now, being an American expat, I am fortunate (very fortunate) to know what "Trader Joe's" is but I'm guessing most of DSN's readers outside the US will have no idea what they are talking about. So, here I provide the information necessary to propagate DSN's Just One Thing Challenge #3 to a European audience.

For a long while, the Monterey Bay Aquarium's Seafood Watch was the only sustainable fish list in town. This was fine for North Americans but over here in the UK the list didn't make much sense. Only about half the species on the list were even sold over here, and there were a whole bunch of new ones that I'm sure hadn't been rated at all by MBA. Fortunately, the idea has caught on and now there are guides springing up all over the place. The MBA's Seafood Resources page is awesome. Click it. It lists all guides available by country. In the UK, we have the Marine Conservation Society's Good Fish Guide (pdf) and the FishOnline database with lists of fish to eat and fish to avoid.

To take that final step for DSN's Just One Thing Challenge, though, you need to write a letter to a supermarket (or better yet your local fish and chip shop!) to encourage them to source their seafood more sustainably. Fortunately, FishOnline tells me that British supermarkets, especially Waitrose, Marks and Spencer and Morrisons, are actually doing pretty well on the fish sourcing front. Fish and chip shops, though? ...them's a whole 'nother kettle of overfished cod.


Richard Carter, FCD said...

I'll let you into the North of England's best-kept secret, if you promise not to tell anyone...

Haddock knocks cod into a cocked hat.

Strangely, haddock appears to be missing from both the fish to eat and the fish not to eat lists. Not sure what to make of that.

nunatak said...

How strange. That is the second time I've heard a reference to a cocked hat this week. The first was in a lecture by Randal Keynes about Darwin's poor draftsmanship. Now, about haddock: it gets an amber light because t really depends where and how it was caught. See here:

Kevin Z said...

Thanks for linking us and doing your part for sustainability karen! Darwin would approve. Thanks for the heads up on haddock too. It is absolutely delicious and glad to hear I can resume eating from certain stocks. I had stopped eating all fish except for farm-raised tilapia and catfish, as well as local freshwater fish from unfouled lakes and rivers (walleye and bass), as well as arctic shrimp.

Peter Mc said...

Anecdotal evidence from local (North Sea) fisherman is that large cod are moving inshore. Maybe the cod that loiter inshore are being missed by the trawls and getting the chance to grow to larger sizes.

Haddock has another benefit, too: it is cooked to order. Etiquette is that at the chippy threshold you shout 'Addock!' to alert the chef that a superior customer is in the house. Cod is fried in batches and often mummifies under heatlamps for some time before serving.