1000 reviews and rising for Fish2fork
September 26 2012 Lewis Smith
The Treasury in Plymouth
Three years and six countries after its launch, Fish2fork is celebrating the posting of its 1,000th restaurant review.
The milestone was reached as Fish2fork completed a project to assess the sustainability credentials of more than 50 restaurants in Plymouth, in time for the city’s Seafood Festival.
When Fish2fork was launched in 2009, after the release of the documentary film The End of the Line, public opinion about overfishing was beginning to awaken and be mobilised.
Overfishing is still very much a problem and much needs to be done but, increasingly, efforts are being made internationally to halt the ruinous over-exploitation of one of the world’s most valuable natural resources.
Chefs are among those making the biggest difference by demanding that the fish and shellfish they use come from sustainable sources. Research by Fish2fork has shown that of restaurants re-reviewed in 2011, 45 per cent had improved their record on marine sustainability.
Tim Glover, managing director of Fish2fork and its co-founder, was delighted that more than 1,000 reviews have now been posted.
“This is a tremendous achievement and we now look forward to our next 1,000 reviews,” he said. “However, what is more important is that we continue to help and encourage chefs to make sustainable choices – to make the right choices when choosing fish and shellfish for their menus.
“Buying from sustainable sources is just as important an ingredient to good food as freshness and quality. Many chefs already recognise this and I have been struck over the last three years how many of them are not only listening to what we say about sustainability but as a result are making changes to what they buy and where they get it from. A growing number are making an effort to engage with us and to source responsibly.”
Overfishing is one of the biggest challenges facing the planet. More than 30 per cent of fisheries around the world are being overexploited, as are 72 per cent of Europe’s.
The potential impacts if there is a failure to fish at sustainable levels are not just environmental. Scientists have warned that as well as damage to marine ecosystems, the livelihoods of fishermen and their families around the world are at risk and millions of people who rely on fish as food could face starvation.
The restaurant that took Fish2fork past the 1,000 mark was The Treasury, a former treasury building that has been converted into a cafe-bar restaurant and earned itself a 0.5 blue fish rating.
In the review the restaurant was praised for, “using pollock instead of cod, opting for sustainable haddock, generally being well meaning and displaying an interest in finding out more about fish conservation.”
Fish2fork started in the UK and has now launched in five other countries – the US, France, Spain, Switzerland and Belgium. By September 25, 2012, there were 579 restaurants reviewed in the UK, 107 in the US, 112 in France, 95 in Spain, 52 in Switzerland and 74 in the Belgic city of Brussels.
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