Fin & Flounder is a local fishmonger based in Broadway Market in Hackney, East London, whose founder Richard Hayfield (pictured far left) has enjoyed introducing new concepts and modernisation to the traditional service. As he says, "Our passion is to open your eyes to the delights of eating fresh fish and bring back the nostalgia of what we all remember as a local fishmonger. Knowledgeable staff with a real passion for what they sell and how to get the best taste from each flaky morsel. We hope to provide you with all the necessary ingredients to produce good quality fish dishes. Excellent service that is far removed from any large supermarket chain. We source only the best quality fish from sustainable boats."
Q: Why do you think sustainable fish is important?
It is vital to be aware of where our food comes from, as this dictates quality and allows the consumer to respect what is put on their plate. Wild fish stocks are running low and if we as consumers push for a more ethical approach the larger supermarket will need to follow. We should all be concerned in how we leave the planet for our children and instill these values for generations to come. Sustainable fish is important as it both helps conserve stocks but also gives well deserved money to the small independent fisherman that do line catch and use respectable methods to catch daily fish.
Q: What inspired you to take action on sustainable fish?
I was inspired by TV chefs as many others were and my close supplier who is passionate about what he catches and how it is caught. We also wanted to promote other species so people would see that varying their diet also helps to take the burden of certain species. I knew that we could do better than the supermarkets without Msc and other branded logo?s which are convenient for supermarkets as they need quantity rather than quality. I was inspired to be more adaptable to the changing seasons and environment as this is what both I and the consumers wanted.
Q: And what have you done as a result?
We strive to reevaluate constantly where our fish comes from and look for new suppliers that have the same passion as we do. Our goal is to bring in as much line caught as possible and dayboat static net caught. We educate our customers on here our fish is caught and how.
We have and outlined policy and a mission on sourcing our fish, set out below:
Fin & Flounder sourcing & sustainability
Fin & Flounder offers fish of the highest quality, from sustainable fisheries. We source locally and seasonally and always try to source on recommendations from the leading bodies on sustainability, such as the Marine Conservation Society (MCS), Pisces and Seafish. If we are unable source recommended fish, we simply don't offer that product. As such, you may see certain species missing from our fish slab.
We buy directly from a number of day boats and support sustainable fishing practices. These methods in turn ensure you always get the very freshest catch.
We always try to follow the sourcing policy below, so you will always have a clear conscience when you purchase from Fin & Flounder:
- Our wild caught fish is sourced from managed stocks
- We do not source from stocks that pose a threat to the integrity of the stock
- We source farmed fish from well managed farms that farm to high environmental standards
- We source farmed fish that is fully traceable to production site
- We source from fisheries or farms that have been certified by independent international certification bodies such as the Marine Stewardship Council, Soil Association (UK) or RSPCA monitored Freedom Foods Scheme
- We favour the following fishing methods when sourcing our stock: line caught, dived, hand gathered, sine netted. We do not buy any trawled fish.
Q: What would you say to a concerned citizen interested in supporting sustainable fish?
Do not be afraid to ask questions - what is your sustainable policy, where does your fish come from etc. Go to independent fishmongers that are passionate and experienced who love the job.
Q: What would you say to a fishmonger interested in selling sustainable fish?
Get out and meet your suppliers go and see them on their boats. Understand and educate yourself on what are the best methods of catch for each species that you would like to sell. Do not be fobbed of that it is not possible and try to avoid markets and go direct to the fishermen. It will take time as quality is also a leading factor and some people can sell line caught fish but cannot store it well or will not send it to you direct.
Q: What would you say to a business that hasn't yet tackled the issue of sustainable fish?
I think they would be missing a trick as I feel more and more consumers are concerned about this topic and they will lose customers. If they have not tackled it yet then they are burying their head in the sand as this should be important to all of those that want to strive to improve quality and providence of their products. I would say to them just get online do some research talk to others and start to be proud of where your fish comes from.
See Richard Hayfield demonstrate how to cook a crab at: www.videojug.com/film/how-to-cook-a-crab
Visit the Fin and Flounder website at: www.finandflounder.com
Sustainable Fish: A campaign to protect precious marine environments and fishing livelihoods, and call for fish to be bought from sustainable sources. We want to show what can be done if people and organisations make a concerted effort to change their buying habits.
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