Food processors produce a sustainable kettle of fish

By Hayley Brown

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Agriculture Overfishing Food security

Food processors produce a sustainable kettle of fish
As the issues surrounding food security and depleted fish stocks loom high on the political agenda, processors and retailers have been responding by...

As the issues surrounding food security and depleted fish stocks loom high on the political agenda, processors and retailers have been responding by launching a range of sustainable products.

Cumbrian Seafoods, for example, has launched a responsibly sourced lemon sole fillet and pan-ready lemon sole.

The processor teamed up with Asda and Flatfish of Grimsby, which is responsible for the first stage of processing. Flatfish deals with boats that only use the seine net method, which does not damage the sea bed and minimises the amount of juvenile fish caught, helping to reduce overfishing, claimed Cumbrian Seafoods. In April it also started to supply Marine Stewardship Council accredited Atlantic Cod and Haddock.

Chris Brown, head of ethical and sustainable sourcing at Asda, which stocks the responsibly sourced fish, added: "As our customers expect us to do everything we can to protect wild fish stocks, we chose to work with Cumbrian Seafoods on the development of this initiative. Lemon Sole is becoming an increasingly popular fish in the UK and this launch gives our customers the confidence that they are buying fish from sustainable sources."

The launch came last month, as the government undertook its first food security assessment as part of a package of material on the future of the food supply chain. The government initiative aims to collect material and to discuss issues ranging from how to create a sustainable food system locally and globally, to the challenges of rising global demand for food and the ways in which food contributes to greenhouse gas emissions.

Around the British Isles only eight out of 47 fish stocks are known to be in a healthy state, and the UK is faced with a serious challenge to secure food supplies from the marine environment. In the EU as a whole, 88% of stocks are overfished, according to the Marine Conservation Society.

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