Have you ever asked yourself what it is your supplier of seafood does on a day to day basis to make sure that you the chef are truly sourcing responsibly?
With ownership in over 50 Fishing Vessels as well as investment in Fishing Quota we at Marrfish pride ourselves in providing a passionate consultative approach to help the modern day chef make informed decisions as to what fish should go on the menu on a day to day, season by season basis.
Quality is at the forefront of our customers’ thought processes when choosing a fish supplier. However with increased awareness the modern chef should also be thinking ethically, environmentally and sustainably when planning their menu.
For years the Marine Stewardship council have worked hard to raise awareness about conservation and over fishing. They have introduced measures that are designed to allow fish stocks to breed without interruption from fishermen – ensuring there will be fish for years into the future. Species are given time to grow and spawn in their naturally found nursery areas.
Cod was under threat of vanishing forever due to over fishing, with numbers of fish reaching an all time low in 2008. The MSC implemented strict rules with regards to catching cod and as a result cod stocks are now up by 40%.
Our boats and our crews all adhere to the MSC guidelines and we’re proud to say we are fully invested in the MSC and its activities, meaning there’ll be fish in the sea for generations to come.
Find out more about MSC accreditation…
We all know how bad litter is for ocean life, threatening species small and large, from anchovies to whales – the ocean needs cleaning!
Our boats don’t just catch fish. The Marr fleet is a part of the Fishing For Litter scheme, which means we carry large collection bags on board each boat and segregate plastics and general litter that are caught in our nets. The litter is put into large bags stored on board the boat and is brought back to land for proper disposal or recycling.
We strongly believe in keeping our oceans clean. Meaning more quality fish for generations into the future.
Find out more about the Fishing For Litter scheme…
All of our vessels are actively encouraged to sign up to the ‘Responsible Fishing Scheme’. Based on a publicly aware specification from the British Standards Institution (BSi), the Responsible Fishing Scheme is an independent, audited assessment of the application of good practice by a vessel skipper and crew in their fishing operations.
75% of our vessels are fitted with controlled CCTV technology that is monitored by the authorities. For this the fisherman are granted additional quota for Cod as a reward for stopping the malpractice of discarding.
As leaders in modern fishing methods, our boats use certain types of fishing methods so as to target specific species during a trawl. Larger Escape panels are woven into the net in either the top or side panels designed to fit the specific responses of Cod and Haddocks as they try to escape from a trawl allowing the skipper to be more selective when fishing.
Environmentally the fishing techniques our vessels employ are modern demersal techniques and sophisticated purse seiners, all of which enable the skipper to be more selective with the species they target.
The Fully Documented Fisheries scheme is a trial scheme designed to improve fishing practices at sea and reduce the amount of discarded fish on each trip.
Currently fishermen have strict quotas (limits on the amount of fish they can catch), designed to assist with recovery of fish stocks. Fishermen are not allowed to go over these quotas. Should a fisherman catch too much of a certain species, which can easily happen unintentionally, then these fish must be discarded or disposed of.
The FDF scheme is designed to reduce discarded fish by monitoring the fishing activities via cameras, in real time if necessary. The scheme allows fishermen to prove their declarations of the fish they catch. This negates inspectors having to board boats mid-fishing as the cameras are inspecting the boat the whole time it’s out at sea.
The camera system also allows skippers to prove they are adhering to guidelines and regulations regarding discarded fish and fish quotas. The scheme is still currently in trial, but results thus far look promising.
In addition to our vast sustainability efforts we also adhere to the following fishing restrictions:
Real Time Closures – These are instigated by the fishermen themselves. Should they report catching large numbers of young fish, they report the find, note the area and a real time closure is put in place. This closure restricts any boats fishing in that area, allowing the younger fish to flourish.
Marine Protected Areas – A protected area is created for areas of the ocean where fish are known to spawn or where younger fish gather. The area is not allowed to be fished and allows the fish to reproduce without interference and allows the fish stocks to recover.
Seasonal Closures – A seasonal closure could be put in place at times of the year fish are known to spawn and breed. As with the other restrictions this allows fish stocks to recover and breed naturally without threat of over fishing.
From a sustainability point of view we are proud to say that none of our vessels have discarded a Cod since 2012! By working in cooperative manner should a vessel catch any species that they don’t have particular quota for they are able to lease additional quota at the drop of a phone call enabling all fish caught to be landed at Peterhead.
This practice is something that we not only see as a sustainable measure but also as morally correct.
We maintain regular contact with our vessels on a day to day making sure that we are regularly up to date with regards to how fishing is progressing, what is being caught and more importantly the condition of the fish being caught. This helps our dedicated team to choose and promote on those species that are in prime condition. This helps helps us avoid the purchase of fish that are in a spawning state as best as possible, giving stocks the opportunity to replenish.
Additionally, when sourcing seafood from around the rest of the UK we make use of our industry partners who typically land from smaller Day-Boat craft. These vessels have a significantly lesser impact on the environment than most ocean-going beam trawlers. These partners are chosen specifically for their knowledge with particular species and as such are in prime place to advise us as to the condition of fish going forward helping us maintain our principles.
At Marrfish we believe passionately in promoting more of the underutilised British species such as Hake, Megrim, Coley, Pollock and Squid all of which are caught by our vessels out of Peterhead, which at present in an estimated 80% of cases these fish are exported abroad to Spain and France.
All of our sales teams will provide a consultative approach to our customers, advising of fish that are in prime condition, what you should be seeing on your menu and what you should be avoiding. We will endeavor to give you all the options available to you to build a menu that you are confident enough to satisfy even the most discerning customer.