Southbank Fresh Fish delivers groundbreaking Coastal Fish campaign to London chefs Published: 03 January, 2012
The new UK Coastal Fish campaign has caught the imagination of some of
Londons finest restaurants and top chefs, who are able to source an
abundance of fresh, underutilised species caught by British coastal
fishermen through Southbank Fresh Fish, one of the UK capitals leading
local seafood suppliers.
Launched in September 2011, Coastal Fish aims to give long-term support to the UKs troubled local fishermen and to create a viable domestic market for all fish species caught by the countrys coastal fleet through its core strategy of paying a reasonable, sustainable price for the entire catch landed by coastal fleets. This policy aims to increase the long-term value of by-catch and therefore reduce the likelihood that fish such as dabs, coley and pouting will be discarded.Coastal Fish works on a second, equally important level by actively encouraging restaurants and caterers to adapt the ways that they plan menus and create dishes that allow increased flexibility.In its first three months, 136 UK fishing vessels signed up to Direct Seafoods Coastal Fish campaign, as did an incredible 1,358 chefs, including many of Southbank Fresh Fishs customers.Southbank Fresh Fish, as part of the Direct Seafoods group, is a major buyer of fresh fish caught in local waters and landed to harbour every morning. It supplies premium species to some of Londons leading restaurant groups, including many Michelin-stared venues.Commenting on the growing number of London-based chefs and restaurateurs that are supporting Coastal Fish, Southbank Fresh Fish Director John Ewing said it is extremely important that London-based chefs, who are working at the heart of the UK restaurant scene, strive to make the most of all the species found in British waters.Weve seen attitudes in the capital change enormously these past 12 months; chefs have become much more receptive to working with the lesser-known fish, partly because their customers are more environmentally aware than they were a few years ago, said John Ewing.Many top-end restaurant goers are also high flying businessmen, whose companies are expected to publicly support, amongst other things, ethical and environmentallyfriendly practices. As a result, they are much more likely to be sustainability minded when choosing from a menu.We have always behaved like a family-run business. For us, Southbank is about quality, consistency and service and were proud of our ability to immerse ourselves in our customers business patterns. So in supporting the Coastal Fish campaign, chefs can be confident that they are making sustainable sourcing decisions and serving up conscience-free fish.Coastal Fish is a true market changing sustainability programme and its a perfect fit for Southbank. It re-establishes our brand as the foremost local supplier of local, premium fish to Londons top-end dining rooms.John Ewing is particularly pleased that Southbank, through Coastal Fish, is also able to provide much greater financial security to UK fishermen as he grew up in the bustling fishing town of Brixham, Devon, and now lives close to Hastings, Kent, whose fleet was the first to sign up to the groundbreaking programme.Through the scheme, Southbank has been able to broaden its offering of daily specials. Depending on the fishing weather, John Ewing and his team are now each day offering their London client-base as many as a dozen wild alternatives to the most popular fish species.In addition, the local sourcing aspect of the Coastal Fish campaign means Southbank is often able to supply even fresher than before fish (within 24 hours of being caught) to its customers.