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Overfishing is a major threat to our oceans

Charles Clover

This website is the first attempt we know of to rate restaurants that serve fish not only for the quality of their food but also for the effect they are having on the seas and on marine life. We have come to realise in the past decade or so that fishing, or rather overfishing, is the main influence on 70 per cent of the planet's surface. As was showed in the documentary film, The End of the Line, based upon my book of the same name, 80 per cent of the world's fish stocks are fully or over-exploited and some fish species, such as the bluefin tuna or the beluga sturgeon, are now listed as critically endangered.

Therefore, we feel that what is contained in the amuse bouche that is offered you before your meal, the sashimi that you eat as a starter or the fillet that you order as your main course is essential information if you are to make choices as a concerned consumer. How are you to know whether you are unwittingly taking place in the eradication of endangered species, or the destruction of ecosystems unless you know what you are eating? Some restaurants give little or no information on what species they serve. And how will your food taste if you know that you are eating the last of a species? Less good, I would hazard, than if you knew there was nothing to feel guilty about at all. With the knowledge of what is going on in our oceans, we believe the quality definition of good food has changed, and good food now means sustainable food.

So which restaurants try to serve it and work with fishermen to lower their impact on the sea? And which restaurants go on serving endangered species and make no attempt to work with their suppliers to avoid by-catch, or endangered or over-fished species? That is what we have tried to show in this guide, which is based on a questionnaire sent to restaurants. Where the restaurants did not complete it, we filled it in ourselves, based on their online menus (the marking system is linked here). We invite you to fill in a form or email us, where restaurants you know are not included or where you believe there is new information.

The success of this site will depend on your willingness to take part - the more information you can provide, the more powerful fish2fork.com will become as a force for change.

We believe that by doing so we consumers can be better informed and, in the process, use our influence to improve the management of the oceans. We also believe our food will taste better.

Charles Clover

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