“Big improvement” to sustainable fish

Published on Friday, 12 October 2012 11:32
Posted by Vicki Mitchem

The Good Food for London 2012 report, published today, praises eleven London Boroughs for "leadership on sustainable fish". The London Borough of Havering received special praise for buying sustainable fish for its catering, whilst also helping other boroughs and London institutions buy sustainable fish affordably through large-scale collaborative contracts.

In 2011, when the audit was first undertaken, only four boroughs were showing leadership.

"The Good Food for London 2012 report shows a huge improvement on London Boroughs buying fish from sustainable sources to feed local schoolchildren, care home residents and council employees," said Jon Walker, coordinator of the Sustainable Fish City campaign that aims for all fish bought and eaten in London to be from sustainable sources.

"Surveys indicate that the majority of Londoners care deeply about the future of fish and precious marine life. So London Boroughs are well placed to make a significant difference with their fish-buying policies. It is inspiring to see that over two-thirds of London Boroughs are already taking at least some action, but there is still a long way to go. Education Secretary Michael Gove MP has recently commissioned a review of school food standards, and these standards must include sustainable fish.

The Coalition Government has already made sustainable fish standards mandatory for food served to prisoners, soldiers and MPs – so why not schoolchildren?"

The 2012 report, which audits action taken by London Boroughs to promote healthy and sustainable food, shows that eleven London Boroughs buy sustainable fish for school meals, and promote Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) certified sustainable fish to school children through the MSC's Fish and Kids project.

This helps to preserve and protect precious fish stocks for future generations to enjoy. A further 15 London Boroughs out of the total of 33 were praised for "taking at least one significant step to support sustainable fish". Unfortunately, the remaining 7 boroughs (Brent, Croydon, Hackney, Haringey, Harrow, Hillingdon and Southwark) did not appear to be taking any significant steps to buy or promote sustainable fish.

"Over the 2012 summer, London welcomed millions of people to enjoy the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. Those attending sporting events were served up only sustainable wild-caught fish, thanks to the Games organisers insisting on only the highest environmental standards," said Kath Dalmeny, who worked with marine conservation organisations to help the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games organisers adopt their fully sustainable fish policy.

"We call on all London Boroughs to serve only sustainable fish, as a fantastic legacy from the London 2012 Games. Fish stocks can recover if they are managed sustainably and if major fish buyers such as London Boroughs buy only verifiably sustainable fish. London Boroughs pledging to use sustainable fish would be a clear signal to fishermen that their investment in sustainable fishing methods is worthwhile, to promote good fishing livelihoods for years to come."

The Sustainable Fish City campaign is calling on London Boroughs to stop serving endangered fish, promote the best of sustainable fish (including MSC certified fish, particularly in schools), and to work with their suppliers to improve the rest. These principles have already been adopted by caterers that together serve well over 100 million meals a year, inspired by the London 2012 Food Vision.

Source: ©Sustain Web


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