The single biggest issue for the seafood sector
The broadcast of numerous TV programmes over the last few years, such as Blue Planet 2, has created a dramatic surge in the issue of sustainability in the consciousness of the British public.
With 90% of world fish stocks fully or over exploited from fishing, plus pressure from climate change and marine pollution, there is a serious need for sensible stewardship of the oceans. It’s shocking that plastic litter has reached every part of our oceans, right across the globe.
At James Knight, we are committed to playing our part; to do the right thing and to look after the world’s fish for the future.
In the seafood industry we have a responsibility to ensure that world fish stocks are not over exploited and that we can have fish for the future generations.
Many consumers are now wondering where the fish they eat comes from, and whether they are choosing the right species of fish. As chefs and caterers, we will support you by providing sustainably sourced fish and seafood as well as information which enables you, as a responsible chef, to make the right choices.
James Knight is one of the sector leaders in helping the industry to change its habits.
We believe all of us working together can reduce the strain on certain species by proving fish from sustainably managed stocks; which is caught or farmed in a way which causes minimal damage to the marine environment and other wildlife.
Key Trade Associations
The food and hospitality sector has listened; many restaurants have completed the Sustainable Restaurant Association’s audit, independently rated for their sustainability practices, and many more are currently going through the process.
The Marine Conservation Society is the UK’s leading marine charity. They work to ensure our seas are healthy, pollution free and protected.
Our seas are under immense pressure: too many fish are being taken out, too much rubbish is being thrown in and too little is being done to protect our precious wildlife. The MSC’s vision is for seas full of life where nature flourishes and people thrive.
Plastic Oceans are not an anti-plastic organisation.
Their view is that plastic is an amazing product; versatile, cheap, light and its invention has changed the way we live, particularly in the world of medicine. It’s what we do with it that’s the problem!
Plastic does not degrade, or decompose. It is virtually indestructible and you cannot simply throw it away.
James Knight is the sector leader on sustainability issues. We were the first wet fish wholesaler in London to be listed in the Sustainability Restaurant Association supplier directory.
We have worked intensively with 20 environmental and sustainability groups on this issue. We live and breathe the differences between the MCS and MSC, the RSPCA and the many other organisations contributing to the conservation of future fish stocks.
For more information about our bespoke sustainability planning service, please contact us.
Sustainability Case Studies
Read some examples of how we’ve helped our clients make more sustainable menu choices.
The One-O-One restaurant in the Sheraton Park Hotel in Knightsbridge is widely acclaimed as one of the finest seafood restaurants in London.
A couple of years ago, One-O-One scored a poor ranking from influential campaigning restaurant guide, fish2fork. This gave Executive Chef, Pascal Proyart the impetus to make radical changes to his menu, and approached us to collaborate on the creation of a truly sustainable menu.
This necessarily requires a mixture of farmed and wild fish, some of which is locally sourced, others from further afield. What they each had in common was a positive assessment by the Marine Conservation Society. Cornish sardines, Cornish red mullet, dab and pouting are now on its menu, alongside Norwegian cod and organic salmon, with details provided of catch area and method of catch. It’s sustainability policies are detailed and transparent and are on it’s website for all to see.
Fish2fork re-assessed its rating and awarded One-O-One a near-perfect 4.5 Blue Fish, describing it as “without doubt, one of the best sustainability policies we have come across”. Read the review here.
James Knight previously had a retail outlet in Selfridges’ Food Hall.
Selfridges made a positive decision to ban the sales of any seafood and marine products sourced from unsustainable, over-fished or vulnerable fisheries.
This applied to all of the restaurants and concession partners throughout the store, but as the only fish counter, this was a dramatic change for us.
We were the only concession partner to sit on the steering group for the project, alongside 20 environmental and sustainability groups – including the Marine Conservation Society, Marine Stewardship Council, SeaWeb, GoodCatch, fish2fork,
World Wildlife Fund and Greenpeace.
We went through a very intensive process of reviewing every single fish ingredient in our product range, not just our fresh fish range, but every single ingredient in our complimentary products such as soup, pate, pies etc, in terms of assessing their origin and method of catch, and subsequently applying the MCS rating to them for assessment.
Our research was used by many other concessions, such as Eat, Yo Sushi!, Baker & Spice, the Oyster & Champagne Bar and many restaurants, to inform their sourcing decisions.
Popular species such as red snapper, swordfish and wild prawns were permanently removed from our counter, to our own short-term financial detriment.
However, the major benefit of working so closely with the most authoritative environmental and sustainability groups in the world has meant that we are at the forefront of understanding the minutiae of a very, very wide range of species, which we use to help our clients create their Sustainability Plans.
Catch@Andaz is part of a boutique hotel near Liverpool Street station, which opened in 2010.
The Chef, Martin Scholtz, was passionate about sustainability, educated and persuaded by groups like fish2fork, about the issues surrounding bycatch, illegal fishing and endangered species.
Sharing Martin’s philosophy about the importance of sustainability, we developed a close collaborative relationship with Catch, sourcing all of its fish and shellfish. Seasonality, value-for-money and menu transparency were key considerations for Catch’s menu, with an emphasis on British fish.
Devon crab, Hastings dover sole, Cornish grey mullet, half a dozen different oysters and GAAP-approved prawns are key species on its menu, alongside some farmed fish such as Anglesey seabass and French turbot. This information is accurately reflected on its menu and where the information cannot be included due to a lack of space, more detail is in the Catch Species Guide available to customers.
As a result, Catch is one of fish2fork’s flagship restaurants, awarded a near-perfect 4.5. Read here for a review.
For more information, contact John Ewing.