We’re really pleased to announce that sustainable wild fish is joining our range. It’s been a long journey to this point, but after months of research – consulting fishermen, research bodies and industry experts – we’ve come up with a robust sourcing model that supports local fishing communities, has the least possible impact on the environment, and provides you with the tastiest wild British fish.
Fish for Thought
Our fish is coming from Fish for Thought: a small, family-owned business at the very heart of the Cornish fishing industry.
Fish for Thought are seafood fanatics, and absolutely committed to local sourcing. The business was founded in 2006 by Paul Trudgian. Starting with just one colleague, a Portakabin in a carpark, and “spectacular naivety”, Paul set out to take a warts-and-all look at the fishing industry, determined to change the way people enjoy fish and shellfish.
Today, the team has grown to a few more than a party of two – and they really are leading the way when it comes to sustainable and ethically sourced seafood. All their fish is MSC-certified, and they work closely with the Cornwall Good Seafood Guide (a project led by the Cornish Wildlife Trust) to make the most sustainable choices. They source directly from fishing boats and markets, supporting the fishermen who are operating responsibly, and using their buying power to incentivise further improvement to the industry.
What is ‘sustainable’ fish?
There are many different concepts of what is ‘sustainable’ when it comes to fish. Together with Fish for Thought, we’ve come up with the following fish sourcing manifesto:
- Traceability. We know exactly where the fish comes from and how it is caught. All fish can be traced back to individual boats; the name of the boat is shown on each pack.
- Minimising harm to the marine environment. Our fishermen use dayboats less than 10 metres long, and line-catch their fish. Line-catching is one of the most sustainable methods of fishing: there is no damage to the sea bed (unlike trawling), no by-catch of other unwanted species, and no risk of lost ‘ghost’ nets that entangle and kill marine life on reefs and in the open sea.
- Supporting local fishing communities. By buying fish from local fish markets (Looe and Newlyn in Cornwall, and Brixham and Plymouth in Devon), caught by under 10 metre day-boats, we aim to keep alive the skills and knowledge of small fishing communities.
- Top-of-the-line flavour! As well as being the most sustainable method, line-caught fish offers the highest quality. Unlike nets, which are often left in the water overnight, lines are pulled up quickly, so the fish is as fresh as possible. Line-catching is also much gentler; the catch can be bruised and squashed when nets are hauled up.
Sticking to the rules we have set for ourselves means that our range is quite modest. As we only sell line-caught fish, some species (e.g. flat fish) that can only be caught using other methods are not available. We are only selling three types of fish – but each of them we have absolute confidence in offering.
Mackerel are instantly recognisable by their sleek shape and iridescently striped flanks, mottled with flashes of blue, green and silver. The flesh is firm, deeply flavoured and rich in omega-3 oils. We think fish tastes best served on the bone when possible, so we’ve cleaned and gutted them, but left them whole for you to grill, roast or BBQ.
Pollock is a sustainable alternative to its close relative the cod, with white flesh that stays firm and flakes beautifully when cooked just right. We’re offering it diced for speedy stews, curries and fish pies, or filleted for frying to crisp-skinned perfection.
Fresh squid has a clean, mild seafood flavour, and a very high ratio of usable flesh. We have skinned, prepared, and cleaned it for you. The firm white body is easily stuffed or sliced – and though the tentacles may look a bit sinister and sci-fi, they are just as delectable as the flesh, if not more so.
Why do we freeze our fish?
All our fish is iced at sea, and blast-frozen within 24 hours of being caught. It will arrive at your doorstep defrosted and chilled.
Freezing the fish right after being caught ensures that it’s fresh when you come to eat it. Fish from industrial scale boats may have a much longer journey before it’s frozen. In our blind taste tests, we found no impact from freezing on flavour or texture.
Freezing also enables us to catch the fish when they are plentiful in our local seas, and balance supply and demand.
Why isn’t your fish organic?
Wild caught fish can’t be certified as organic, as the conditions under which it’s grown can’t be controlled (it’s the ocean!). The only fish that can be certified organic is farmed fish, which is reared in enclosed environments.
Our range of wild fish is available to order online now.