Sustain / Coronavirus Food Alert / Defending our food supply
Keeping fishers in business
Last updated July 2020
Boats catching fresh fish for restaurants and pubs have seen their market all but disappear and the value of some species has dropped by up to 85%. Read our advice on ways to support our fishers. We welcome that the government will now pay 80% of the income of share fishers - as well as offering grants for small processors, transport companies and auction houses.
We are helping to champion the needs of fishers and market outlets, with buyers and policy-makers at local and national level.
Protecting street markets
It is absolutely vital that street markets and farmers markets stay open with safe social-distancing measures. They offer a crucial alternative route to market for fishers but - despite being declared essential services - are at risk of being shut down temporarily. See our Markets Information Hub for more.
Encouraging buyers to chose sustainable fish from around the coast of the UK
70% of the fish eaten in the UK is imported, and we export 80% of what we catch. The fish that we eat the most in the UK are nearly always imported - tuna, most seabass, king prawns, and most cod, but there are lots of delicious species caught around our coastline and now is the perfect time to choose them. Below are some of the more sustainable options from each region.
Why not buy direct - some suppliers sourcing straight from fisheries are adapting to COVID-19 by offering online ordering and delivery, or local collection.
This list is a work in progress, please contact us if you think we have missed anyone. We have crowdsourced information, haven't researched suggestions in depth, and inclusion doesn’t signify recommendation or endorsement by Sustainable Fish Cities/Sustain. Many may be offering a combination of UK-landed and imported fish.
A few delivering nationwide direct from fishers - in no particular order
Mourne FishBox - delivers to your doorstep (UK or Ireland) - free delivery
The Cornish Fishmonger - delivers UK-wide (small delivery charge)
Fish for Thought - delivers UK-wide (small delivery charge)
Fish in a box - currently not accepting orders but keep checking website
Fish Box - A fish-box subscription service - delivers nationwide
The Fish Society - Luxury online fishmonger - select ‘UK’ for locally-landed produce.
The Magpie’s Whitby Catch - offering ‘kippers by post’ - exactly what it says on the tin - Kippers are one of the most sustainable and nutritious fish options - packed with Omega-3. Check website as normally offer other species by post
Justcaught.co.uk - Deliver nationwide - free over £60 or a small charge otherwise
Dockside Seafood - Deliver nationwide - choose from their range or a fish box
AO Seafood - Deliver across the UK
Ish Boxes - Fish Boxes or choose your own
Regal Fish - Delivering to England and N Wales
The Devon Fishmonger - UK-wide delivery for a small fee, cheaper in Devon
Eversfield Organic - Fish box or choose your own
Online marketplaces and directories for small-scale producers:
NeighbourFood - allows you to check for a local market - then order online and collect on a set date.
Big Barn - Buy fish direct from their website or their map lists businesses and market stalls buying direct from fisheries
Open Food Network - a directory of thousands of producers selling online including fantastic fish from Sole of Discretion
Farming UK is a great directory of local farm shops - and some sell fish
A few offering local delivery or collection
Soleshare - 15+ pick-up locations across London
Fresh from the Boat - sell from a number of stalls and deliver near Portsmouth
Moxons Fresh Fish - 4 outlets in London and local delivery
Farmdrop - delivers direct from small producers across London - at the time of writing they have delivery slots left and are operating a queueing system
You can also contact your local food partnership for suggestions
Sustainable fisheries will fare better as we emerge out of this crisis. As businesses re-open, healthy fish stocks will have enough resilience to allow more catches but any boost in catches threatens the viability of depleted populations. We must rebuild our industry on the basis of a resilient ecosystems.
More sustainable choices
MSC certified Normandy and Jersey lobster
Grey and red gurnard, lemon sole, UK farmed king prawns, brill, pot-caught velvet crab, dab, hake, Jersey lobster, plaice, pouting, sardine, sprat
|Wales and NW England||
Mussels, clam, brown crab, oyster, line-caught seabass, pot-caught velvet crab, plaice, pollock, queen scallop
Dab, grey and red gurnard, monkfish, lemon sole, Dover sole, brill, cockle, coley, flounder, hake, herring, plaice, pouting, turbot
Pot-caught brown crab, dab, haddock, langoustines from some areas in the west of Scotland, megrim, monkfish, brill, coley, hake, hand-dived scallops
Megrim, monkfish, sardine, coley, brown crab, hake, herring, plaice, pollock
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Coronavirus Food Alert: Sustain's work on food resilience in the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.We are helping secure food for vulnerable people and supporting local emergency responses.
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