Restaurant backs chef’s sustainable fish campaign

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A PORTSMOUTH restaurant is joining a campaign by celebrity chef Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall to serve more environmentally-friendly fish.

Abarbistro, in Old Portsmouth, is changing its menu to include more sustainable options of fish available fresh each day.

Owners David and Karen Moore, along with chef Mark Andrew, were inspired to make the move by Mr Fearnley-Whittingstall’s Fish Fight campaign, which was the focus of a Channel 4 series last month.

The programme highlighted Britain’s rapidly-vanishing stocks of cod and haddock, and the fact that half the fish caught in the North Sea – usually lesser-known varieties – are thrown back into the sea dead.

Now Abarbistro, which focuses on modern British food, has replaced cod and haddock with alternative but similar-tasting varieties of white fish, such as pollock, pouting and whiting, to make the menu 90 per cent sustainable.

‘I was shocked when I saw just how many fish are discarded in the North Sea when fish like cod and haddock are caught,’ said Mr Moore.

‘Cod is close to extinction yet there are plentiful supplies of other, equally delicious, fish.

‘They may have less common names but they are actually quite similar in flavour and really tasty and nutritious, so it’s just really a case of introducing them to people and getting everyone used to eating them.

‘People can be apprehensive about trying new things but we need to get consumers to be less reluctant if we are going to save these falling fish stocks – and if the numbers don’t recover then cod, and others, are likely to become extinct.’

The campaign also has the backing of Gordon Ramsay and Jamie Oliver. Visit fishfight.net for more info.