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How to Buy Sustainable Cod

How to Buy. Sustainable Cod What's the problem? 85% The North Sea cod population has only just started recov- ering from a record low in 2006. Decades of overfishing decimated the stocks to the point where action had to be taken. Stricter quotas for the number of cod allowed to be caught were introduced to make sure the cod wasn't driven to extinction. However, the population is still at a much lower level than 40 years ago while it remains one of of fish stocks are fully or overfished the UK's favourite fish. 38 8 of 47 So what can you do as a cod lover to help make sure that the days of ordering cod and chips at your local chippy aren't consigned to the history books? fish stocks in the UK are in a healthy state 1970 275.000 tonnes North Sea Cod Stocks 1980 Spawning biomass 181,000 tonnes 1990 83,000 tonnes 2000 Current level 81.000 tonnes 50,000 tonnes 1964 2012 2006 lowest level 29,000 tonnes What makes cod sustainable? It's complicated! To help simplify the issue there are three important things to think about when buying cod: Where How was Who does it come it caught? caught it? from? This handy guide below explains everything you need to know about how these questions should affect your buying decision. Where does it come from? The MCS (Marine Conservation Society) only recommends cod from Iceland, Norway and the Baltic. The Icelandic, Norwegian, Barents and Baltic Seas are seen to have healthy levels of cod to allow sustainable levels of fishing. ICELAND Both Norway and Iceland have a ban on discarding unwanted fish overboard, reducing waste. 26475 NORWAY milion tonnes of cod allowed to be Quota for cod fishing in the North Sea (tonnes) 2013 fished in the Barents Sea off Norway in 2013 There is no MCS recommended cod available from British waters. However the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) has certified cod from the Doggerbank fishery as sustainable, and many UK fishermen do use sustainable fishing methods to provide cod that is caught within EU quotas. UK Many independent fishermen, reputable fishmongers and leading chefs believe this to be sustainable. How was it caught? The Marine Conservation Society recommends these methods: Number one choice when buying sustainable fish! Traditional method used by small fisheries. Fishermen throw unwanted fish back into sea alive. High quality, fresh fish caught. Not all fish can survive being caught. Line caught Best method using nets to catch cod sustainably. Mesh size is species-specific, limiting bycatch. Less mature fish can swim right through. Some unwanted bycatch. Gill nets A long length of line (up to 10okm) is set out with shorter bits of line attached with baited hooks. Bait and hook size altered for selective fishing. Threat to seabirds trying to eat bait. Longline Can catch wrong species/immature fish. Methods to avoid Trawling Seine net Large nets scoop up entire shoals of fish. Huge amounts of bycatch. Destroys sea bed. Significant catch of wrong species/immature fish due to large net and herding method used. Who caught it? Local fishermen catch small amounts of cod on small-scale fishing boats and manage local stocks carefully to ensure the future of their jobs. They usually use gill nets or handline. Cod from the supermarket will usually be caught by larger fishing companies. If it's MSC-approved they will be using procedures to reduce unwanted bycatch and will be from a well managed stock. So now you've got the knowledge, just remember your three questions next time you're buying cod: Where How was Who does it come it caught? caught it? from? Alternatives to cod Obviously one of the best ways to preserve cod stocks is to diversify the fish you eat. Here are some alternatives. Best for cod-like qualities Pouting Pollack Gurnard Hake From the same family as cod, it makes a great alternative when battered and deep-fried. A meaty texture and white flesh that holds together when cooking. Best cooked as fillets. skin side up. Tastiest of underused fish. From the same family as cod, hake is fantastic roasted whole in the One of the best substitutes, use it in your favourite cod recipes. Slightly blander so make sure to season oven. well. Other British alternatives Coley Dab Megrim Has a slightly sweet taste and light texture. Has a sweet taste and delicate texture. It is the Often sold as Cornish Sole, megrim is best eaten during autumn and winter. Great breaded and deep-fried. Can be used much in the most sustainable same way as cod. flatfish. Sources: North Sea cod stocks- ICES Where cod comes from- Marine Stewardship Council, Marine Conservation Society How it is caught- MCS, WWF Alternatives to cod- Nathan Outlaw's British Seafood, plunge-and-try-gurnard-2178073.html More sources: e-menu-1761475.html Special Thanks to: Marine Stewardship Council GREAT BRITISH CHEFS Fin and Flounder All information correct as of April 2013

How to Buy Sustainable Cod

shared by greatbritishchefs on Apr 26
One can't underestimate the perils of eating seafood nowadays. One week you're happily tucking into fish and chips, then next you're causing the extinction of entire species. This could be none more t...


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