A guide to sustainable fish: what choices are there and how to cook it
- Credit: The Hook Fisheries
There are many reasons to eat fish – it's delicious, versatile and has a range of health benefits. But with so many varieties available, and all the different ways in which it can be caught, it can be difficult to know if what you’re eating is having a damaging effect on marine environments.
Award-winning, Michelin-trained chef Tim Slack, founder of the Hook Fisheries in Drighlington, sheds some light on how to choose more sustainable seafood.
Q: What fish can I eat sustainably?
When it comes to choosing sustainable fish, it’s important to know if it has been sourced in an environmentally-friendly way. Find out as much as possible about what you’re buying – look out for information on labels or ask your fishmonger where it came from and how it was caught or farmed.
At the Hook Fisheries, our British fish is tracked through the docks and trawlers and we have specific regulations in place to make sure it’s fresh and ethically caught. It's also a good idea to choose a wider range of seafood to avoid putting pressure on fisheries and to protect dwindling species.
Q: Where should I get my fish from?
Buying from a specialist fishmonger is the best way to ensure what you’re getting is sustainable as they tend to know about the provenance and traceability of the produce. Shopping local also means a smaller carbon footprint and a more diverse choice. The selection is often in season and much fresher than what you get in the supermarkets – buying quality over quantity should always be a priority.
Q: Is eating fish healthy?
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Fish has many health benefits – it's high in protein and rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which help to keep your brain and heart healthy. For a balanced diet that is also suitable for people who are pescatarian, it's recommended that you eat at least two portions of fish a week, including oily fish such as sardines, salmon or mackerel. When it comes to cooking methods, grilled, steamed and baked fish is healthier than frying it.
Q: What fish is best for sustainability?
We love fish and chips in the UK, with cod and haddock among our best sellers at the Hook Fisheries. But one of the best ways to eat more sustainable seafood is to broaden your choices with alternative species that have been caught responsibly.
The Marine Conservation Society have a list of what fish is best to eat, and as a specialist fishmonger, we can recommend alternative options to popular species that have a similar taste and texture. For example, cod can be replaced with hake, mackerel used instead of tuna, and rainbow trout in place of salmon. Muscles and oysters are also good sustainable choices.
Q: What’s the best way to cook fish?
At the Hook Fisheries, we serve marinated fish for customers to take home and cook, including tomato and basil bass, sweet chilli salmon and lemon and herb prawns.
We also offer a takeaway service of prepared fish recipes, such as salmon, haddock and hake fish cakes, freshly battered scampi, and muscles in a creamy white wine sauce. Our fishmongers have a range of culinary experience and can recommend the best ways to cook fish at home.
For more information, visit thehookfisheries.com or call 07483 112 630. The Hook Fisheries is located in Drighlington, Morley or Cleckheaton, with plans to open a new fish and chips shop. Go to facebook.com/thehookfisheries to find out more.