Three fish and chip shops collected top awards for seafood sustainability at last night’s annual MSC Sustainable Seafood Awards.
Devon restaurant chain Rockfish and Scottish fish and chip shop The Bay were joint winners of MSC UK Foodservice Champion of the Year, while Fish and Chips at Weston Grove in Chester won MSC UK Social Media Hero of the Year for the personal and creative nature of their social media content.
The awards, sponsored by Seafood Scotland, were held at the Aberdeen Maritime Museum, in recognition of the region’s importance for sustainable fishing and the city’s strong links to the fishing industry.
Direct Seafoods won MSC UK Fresh Fish Foodservice Supplier of the Year while Brakes and M&J took home MSC UK Foodservice Wholesaler of the Year.
This year’s awards were handmade from crushed mussel and scallop shells from MSC certified fisheries in Shetland.
Accepting his award, Calum Richardson, owner of The Bay in Stonehaven, Scotland, said: “It’s a great honour for myself and all of Team Bay to be awarded MSC Foodservice Champion of the Year.
“We were the first fish and chip shop in the world to put MSC Scottish haddock on the menu many years ago. We continue to support our industry and the Scottish fishing fleet in protecting fish for the future.”
Mitch Tonks added: “Our ambition at Rockfish is to promote the enjoyment of eating sustainable seafood and working with the MSC is part of that.
“Three years ago, we made a commitment to ensure that our menus consisted of only MSC certified seafood or locally caught species, where we know the details of the fishery and the boats that are catching the fish we cook. To be recognised by the MSC for this work is appreciated and hugely valued by everyone at Rockfish.”
Loren Hiller, MSC UK & Ireland commercial manager, said: “Both Rockfish and The Bay put sustainability at the heart of their businesses and they are equally passionate about locally sourced fresh fish.
“It is fantastic to have two incredibly worthy winners of our Foodservice Champion award, two businesses who have been absolute pioneers in bringing sustainable seafood to UK foodservice customers.
“And congratulations to Weston Grove who have put huge effort in supporting Sustainable Seafood Week. They continue to highlight the MSC blue ecolabel throughout the year in their content.”
Nominations were judged by an expert panel that included chef CJ Jackson, formerly of the Billingsgate Seafood School, and Marcus Coleman, chief executive of Seafish.