Top chef Raymond Blanc has used World Oceans Day, 8 June, to call on Bournemouth and Poole to buy, serve and promote only sustainable fish, and take part in a national competition to become the world’s first Sustainable Fish City.
Raymond Blanc OBE, ambassador of the Sustainable Fish City campaign said, “I am challenging Bournemouth and Poole 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!”
The campaign is calling on local schools, universities, hospitals, businesses, staff canteens and restaurants to support by signing the pledge and serving only sustainable fish. Bournemouth and Poole has already taken the first steps, with 13 businesses, the Royal Bournemouth and Christchurch Hospital, Poole Hospital, Bournemouth University and Bournemouth and Poole College signed up to the pledge. Local people can get involved by asking the places where they work, shop and eat out – restaurants, canteens and sandwich shops – to sign up to a fully sustainable fish policy. Always asking where fish is sourced from will encourage more and more businesses to make the change.
Sarah Watson from the Sustainable Food City Partnership said, “The race is on to become the first Sustainable Fish City and as we have such a long connection with the oceans and the fishing industry I think Bournemouth and Poole should win. By working to become a Sustainable Fish City, our chefs, businesses and local people will be part of ensuring that fishing can be a delicious and nutritious part of our future. If we all get involved, start asking about the source of our fish and get more places to sign a pledge I know we can do it and become the first Sustainable Fish City in the country.”
The Partnership are launching their Fish City campaign and celebrating having achieved the first three of the five Fish City stars at Castlepoint on Sunday. They will be inviting people to help make a giant fish community mosaic, get colouring, choose a name for the fish and find out more about sustainable fish in Bournemouth and Poole.
Fish Cities is run by a team of food and conservation groups, and is co-ordinated in Bournemouth and Poole by the Sustainable Food City Partnership. The campaign is part of the Sustainable Food Cities network, a new collaborative approach to tackling food issues across towns and cities. Bournemouth and Poole is one of over 30 places in the UK who are part of this network addressing issues including food waste, food poverty, improving public sector food and supporting food enterprises at a local level.
Across the country, major businesses and organisations serving over 200 million meals per year have already pledged their support, by committing to buy and promote sustainable fish to their customers. This includes the National Trust; 19 universities, Eurostar, and several of the largest caterers in the UK that provide food for public and private sector organisations, including Sodexo, Restaurant Associates and ISS Food and Hospitality.