Why sustainable fish is just as important for restauranteurs as it is for fishermen

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Head chef and co-director at seafood restaurant Purslane, Gareth Fulford, discusses the importance of sustainable fish

The National Federation of Fishermen’s Organisations’ Deck to Dinner event at Billingsgate last year was a great day and a fantastic opportunity to meet and talk directly with British fishermen about the difficulties they face. I felt it was also an opportunity to encourage them with the news that people do want to eat these different and underutilised species and it is definitely worth persevering with that market.

For us here at Purslane Restaurant, supporting sustainability in seafood means longevity for the fishing industry and, in turn, for my business. If they run out of fish my seafood restaurant wouldn’t exist anymore.

The fish we use at Purslane is from sustainable stock and sourced from small, inshore, day-boat fishing boats that use handlines and nets off the coast of Cornwall.The seven species championed at Deck to Dinner offer great value for money, which also makes it possible to offer our seafood at a more accessible price point to our customers. More and more people are willing to try different species, particularly when they trust the restaurant and what we will produce for them.

Making the public aware as a whole of the possibilities offered by lesser-used fish is vital. But I also believe that educating new, young chef’s in what they could be using is just as important – it doesn’t all have to be about farmed Greek seabass.

Gareth cooked Red Gurnard with Spiced Lentils, Cucumber Salad and Mint Raita for the NFFO’s Deck to Dinner campaign. You can find his recipe here.