Mourne Seafood and Belfast Met have signed a Sustainable Fish Pledge to kick-start the Belfast Food Network’s campaign to win a prestigious UK Sustainable Fish City award in a nation-wide initiative championed by fish-loving Ambassador Raymond Blanc OBE. Ginger, Made in Belfast, Root and Branch Organic Catering and Boxa have also signed a pledge; their combined efforts mean Belfast is close to winning its first star for the campaign, which launched at a wine reception of the Sustainable Fish Campaign at Belfast City Hall on 3 July.
Kerry Melville, Coordinator at the Belfast Food Network said: “The Belfast Food Network is delighted that the Sustainable Fish initiative has already attracted top businesses in Northern Ireland, including popular restaurants. The campaign’s launch at the City Hall marked the start of greater consumer awareness of the need to buy fish responsibly in order to protect one of our most precious resources.
“It is estimated that every year, one-fifth of global catch is caught through illegal, unreported or unregulated fishing, a large quantity of which ends up in UK supply chains, some sold as the wrong species or mislabelled. Customers’ confidence in the origins and sustainability of the fish they buy is essential and suppliers should be able to supply traceability documentation with a full guarantee of chain of custody back to the fishery.
“Our campaign is calling on local schools, universities, hospitals, businesses and restaurants to join our champions in signing the pledge and to serve only sustainable fish .”
Multi-award winning chef Raymond Blanc OBE, Ambassador of the Sustainable Fish City campaign  added: “I am challenging Belfast to run a Sustainable Fish City campaign, and support a responsible approach to buying fish. By coming together as towns or cities we have the buying power to transform the way fish is bought and sold in the places where there is a huge demand for fish. Eleven other UK towns and cities are already taking part, so the race is on!”
Pictured are (from left to right) Kerry Melville, Coordinator, Belfast Food Network and Joanne McCoubrey, Director, Mourne Seafood.
1- Sustainable Fish City is run by a group of not-for-profit organisations working on sustainable seafood issues, listed at: www.sustainweb.org/sustainablefishcity/about/
2- The Sustainable Fish City pledge (detailing the commitment made by these organisation) can be downloaded at: