Plymouth challenges London in race to be first sustainable fish city
May 09 2012 Lewis Smith
Plymouth, the port from where the Mayflower set sail almost 400 years ago, is challenging London in the race to become the UK’s first sustainable fish city.
The West Country port is to hold a Marine Festival later this year and as part of the preparations has put in place plans to improve the sustainability of its fish supplies.
Fish2fork will be rating many of the city’s restaurants as a first step towards gauging Plymouth’s marine sustainability and the eventual aim is to ensure that all aspects of seafood supplies, from the boats landing fish to the point when they are served up to eat, are sustainable.
Organisers recognise that it is a big challenge that is likely to take several years but they hope to become the first city in the UK to achieve sustainable fish supplies.
Jon Walker, of Sustain which has played a lead role in London’s campaign to be the first Sustainable Fish City, was delighted to hear the Capital has competition. “The race is on. Brilliant,” he said after learning that Plymouth has entered the fray.
Plymouth’s Marine City Festival takes place from September 8 to 16 and includes an international marine science conference, titled ‘Oceans of Potential’. There will also be a three-day event showcasing the seafood caught in the area.
The inaugural festival – organisers intend it to be an annual event – is expected to attract thousands of visitors and it focuses on Plymouth’s cultural, scientific, educational and business opportunities and heritage. Art exhibitions, music, and a history of surfing are among the events planned.
Details of several elements are yet to be announced but among the activities will be the Blue Mile environmental fund-raising event in which participants walk, paddle, swim or otherwise complete a mile along or in water.
Professor Martin Attrill, of Plymouth University’s Marine Institute, said: “What we are trying to do is create a way of demonstrating Plymouth is the Marine City of the UK. We want to demonstrate across culture, education, business and science that we have the leading capacity.
“Plymouth has always had a relationship with the sea. We are trying to reconnect people to the sea. It’s a celebration of what Plymouth is.”
Duncan Currall, chairman of organisers Destination Plymouth, said: “The Plymouth Marine City Festival brings together all that is best in Plymouth, from our unique coastal environment to the city's marine enterprise and research strengths and our growing reputation for great food.
“The result is a programme that caters to a broad audience, which will attract visitors and investors and which can become a nationally significant recurring festival that will allow the city to make the claim that Plymouth is the UK's marine city.”
The aim of getting Plymouth’s seafood supplies to be entirely sustainable is part of a wider programme in conjunction with the Soil Association to get all its food from sustainable sources.
« Return to the news index
Be the first to comment on this story using the form below