"The perfect fish supper" Scottish fish fryers investigate MSC – Fishupdate.com

“The perfect fish supper” Scottish fish fryers investigate MSC Published:  26 January, 2012

“Seven hundred three quarters!” “Seventy five and one, seventy five and one!”

“Maybe it’s a little too early in the morning,” says one flummoxed fish fryer, “but they sound like they’re talking in code!”

At 6am even on a quiet day, the pace of Peterhead market can even the most seasoned fryer a little at sea.  As the morning’s landings are bought and sold, a delegation of fish fryers from across the north east of Scotland were being shown round the market by those who know it best.

Gathered together by the Potato Council and the Marine Stewardship Council, the group were invited to see the inner workings of the largest fish market in the UK and one of the largest in Europe and to learn about the MSC certified Scottish haddock that pass through the port daily.

Guided around the market by Sally Skakle of the Peterhead Port authority, members of the delegation were able to get an insight into the start of their supply chains and meet with the fishermen at the other end.

With fish of every stripe and species changing hands, the fish and chip shop owners were able to see much of their produce fresh after landing. The tour also gave them the chance to run the rule over new sources of old favourites, including the MSC certified sustainable North Sea haddock landed by the Scottish Fisheries Sustainable Accreditation or SFSAG fleet.

Following the tour, the delegation was given the chance to hear more about the MSC and the Scottish Fisheries Sustainable Accreditation Group from Claire Pescod and Jane Sandell respectively.

Following an introduction to the MSC certification schemes for both fisheries and for fish and chip shops, many of the group were keen to hear more of the potential benefits and costs of the MSC certification to their business.

Calum Richardson – of award winning MSC certified ‘The Bay’ fish and chip shop in Stonehaven – explained: “We’ve received lots of media coverage from the MSC certification, including Phil Vickery coming up to film for This Morning. We’ve had Richard Lochhead visit the shop and we’ve been able to get a three star rating from the Sustainable Restaurant alliance thanks in part to achieving the MSC certification.

“We got certified through funding from Seafood Scotland which is still available to any Scottish restaurateur who wants to go through with the assessment, which is a really quick and painless process too.”

Claire Pescod from the MSC said about the day: “Bringing these different groups of the industry together is key to linking up the supply chain and helping add value to the sector.  There is a lot of interest in great quality sustainable fish, particularly in fish and chip shops, and an event like this can show how easy it is for fish fryers to source it.

“Fisheries which have gained MSC certification have often been through a long and costly process, and it’s important for the supply chain to understand this and the changes a fishery has had to make to be MSC certified.  I’m really pleased the fish fryers enjoyed the event and I hope to see MSC certified Scottish haddock more widely available after this event.”

Jane Sandell from the SFSAG said: “The MSC have organised the event to promote the great quality, sustainable haddock caught by the SFSAG fishermen. We’re committed to promoting the sustainability of our catch through MSC certification so it’s great to be able to a delegation from the fish and chip sector which has a real interest in quality and sustainability.  Anyone looking at how to source our MSC certified haddock should get in touch.”