A new scheme under which restaurants and pubs donate cash from the sale of seafood dishes has been devised by charity the Marine Conservation Society (MCS) – both to raise funds for its sustainability campaigns and to increase consumer awareness.
“Change for Fish” encourages eateries to nominate one or more seafood dishes that, when ordered, suggest a discretionary donation to the MCS. The charity works to promote improvements in the way seafood is caught and farmed.
“With almost 90% of world fish stocks fully or over-exploited from fishing, plus pressure from climate change and pollution, stocks need a helping hand to ensure that chefs can serve up fish suppers for generations to come,” says MCS Corporate Partnerships Manager Sanjay Mitra.
Before being classed as a Change for Fish establishment, MCS in collaboration with restaurant-rating organisation Fish2fork will help it to identify any red-listed species on its menu, and suggest replacing them with fish that are better-rated in the MCS Good Fish Guide.
“In a recent assessment of 11 high-street restaurant chains and pubs we found that it’s a lack of information about the sources of seafood that is one of the biggest barriers for diners trying to eat seafood sustainably,” said Mitra. “We believe the Change for Fish scheme will highlight the good dishes and encourage diners to choose those ahead of others where less information is available.”
In return, the charity expects restaurants to benefit from custom attracted through the MCS and Fish2fork supporter databases – which it says represent almost 200,000 potential customers.
“We’re keen to raise the profile of restaurants and pubs taking part in the scheme because, that way, customers who want to make sustainable choices will know the best places to eat fish,” said Mitra.
Participants will also be featured on the MCS and Good Beach Guide websites and be listed in the new Good Fish Guide app, which has just been named a 2016 Gold winner in the prestigious London Design Awards.
The app aims to help consumers make environmentally sound seafood choices, using a traffic-light system to provide an at-a-glance guide to fish species to be avoided, based on current sustainability. It is free on both iPhone and Android here
Information about Change For Fish can be found here
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