UK government commits to sustainable fish


SeafoodSource staff

Published on
June 15, 2011

The United Kingdom’s Coalition Government on Thursday singed the Sustainable Fish City pledge, committing to serve only seafood from sustainable sources at its institutions, including Number 10, Whitehall, Central Government departments, prisons and parts of the military, affecting nearly 400,000 consumers.

More than GBP 16 million of seafood bought with taxpayers’ money annually will now be covered by sustainability standards, said Jon Walker, coordinator of the Sustainable Fish City campaign.

The pledge comes about three months after campaigners, led by celebrity chef Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, sent a letter to Fisheries Minister Richard Benyon and Farming Minister Jim Paice calling the UK’s government seafood-sourcing standards “wholly unacceptable.” The campaigners also addressed a letter to Prime Minister David Cameron, declaring that the fish in Larry the No. 10 Cat’s pet food is greener than the seafood served to ministers and staff at 10 Downing Street.

Launched in January by a coalition of food and conservation groups, Sustainable Fish City aims by 2012 to make London the world’s first city where businesses, institutions and citizens all support sustainable seafood consumption.

Since then, numerous parties have committed to serve only seafood from sustainable sources, including Sealife London Aquarium and the London Metropolitan Police. And just last week, 14 London universities singed the Sustainable Fish City pledge.

“Hundreds of thousands of citizens have demonstrated their concern about declining fish stocks through high-profile campaigns such as Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s Fish Fight,” said Walker. “We’re delighted that government has put its own house in order and opted to buy only sustainable fish.”

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