August 19, 2015 — Deck to Dinner, a new initiative launched in the United Kingdom last week, aims to repair damage done by years of ignorant information printed in the media, which have given the seafood industry a poor reputation according to Barry Deas, chief executive of the National Federation of Fishermen’s Organizations (NFFO).
Inspiration for the initiative comes in the form of data from a survey by Research Now, which reveals that despite two thirds of us now eating fish once a week and supermarkets reporting increases in wet fish sales, 90 percent of people are only comfortable cooking familiar fish that is pre-prepared.
Deck to Dinner also builds on the latest research from the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES), which shows there has been a “dramatic reduction in fishing pressure” across North Atlantic commercial fish stocks as a result of strict management plans. The data show that between 2006 and 2015, the number of stocks fished at Maximum Sustainable Yield, which is seen as the gold standard of sustainability, increased from two to 36.
“We have been working with chefs for a while now, asking them to create recipes using underutilized species of sustainably sourced seafood, to prove they are just as versatile as the seafood staples. The aim is to get the media and the public to understand that there are sustainable and tasty alternatives to eating salmon, cod, haddock, tuna and prawns, which account for over 70 percent of all U.K. seafood sales,” explained Deas.