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Martin Scholz, Catch

We met Martin Scholz when he was the head chef at Catch and George at Andaz in the heart of the City near Liverpool St station. Martin name check’s Fish2Fork as an inspiration, the organization that rates restaurants on fish sustainability. Catch has achieved a prestigious 4.5 rating from Fish2Fork. Martin has now moved on to Park Hyatt, Istanbul.

Why do you think sustainable fish is important?

I believe that there is no other way than buying fish in a sustainable way.  We need to act now to preserve the ocean and not wait two or five years. The ocean is the last wild territories on the planet and we need to look after them.

What inspired you to take action on sustainable fish?

Fish2Fork initially approached me early 2010 about how we bought fish at Catch restaurant. This inspired me to look into the subject in more detail and I soon realized that supporting sustainable fishing was the way forward; we adopted buying sustainable fish as our philosophy.

And what have you done as a result?

We reviewed all our suppliers and how they source fish. Following this review, we changed all of our fish suppliers for the restaurant, a huge amount of work as we researched suppliers checking their accreditation and claims to sell sustainable produce. It was a 2 year project; I visited suppliers many times to make sure they had the same philosophy as us. Also as a restaurant we want to have the best quality possible for our customers' plate, so this was a double challenge for us.

What would you say to a concerned citizen interested in supporting sustainable fish?

I would recommend to anyone to talk to their local fishmonger when purchasing seasonal fish. It's about asking  the questions of where and how is the fish caught. I would highly recommend visiting the very good website, which is the Marine Conservation Society's official website and provides the most useful information about how to select fish.

What would you say about sustainable fish to someone in a similar business to yours?

I would recommend to everyone the same exercise, asking yourself and the fishmonger or supplier the questions all the time where the fish is from and how it is caught. Ask yourself if it is the right season to serve certain types of fish or are they in breeding season. Every species have different breeding seasons which you can also check on the Marine Conservation Society's website as it is full of very detailed information.

Raymond Blanc OBE, Chef Patron, Le Manoir aux Quat'Saisons

Good ethics should be part of everyday business. Many restaurants and caterers in this are helping to protect our precious marine resources. They should get rightful recognition and inspire others to do the same.

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