Fish and chips has been Britain’s national dish (whether officially or not!) and favourite comfort food for centuries. But we ate too much!
As a result, a decade ago cod and chips came off the menu, because cod stocks in the North Sea were running out.
Since then, governments, scientists and the fishing industry have worked together to nurse Britain’s favourite fish back to health, introducing measures to prevent overfishing. They were successful, and stocks have now quadrupled to their highest level for 35 years, so last year North Sea cod was certified as sustainable by the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC), the body which safeguards seafood supplies.
To mark National Fish & Chip Day on June 1, MSC research has found more than three-quarters (77%) of fish and chip lovers believe all the UK’s fish and chip shops should serve certified sustainable fish. The certification means enough fish have been left in the sea, the fish habitats are respected, and people who depend on fishing can maintain their livelihoods. And even though most people prefer to go to a local chippie, over a third (39%) would travel a little further to find certified sustainable fish and chips.
There are now over 100 certified sustainable UK fish and chip shops bearing the MSC blue fish label on the menu. Here are 10 of them:
1. Devon: The Pelican
The Pelican in Barnstaple is winner of this year’s Restaurant of the Year Award. and visitors can enjoy MSC sustainable prawn cocktail, cod, haddock and plaice.
2. Cirencester: Malt and Anchor
Malt & Anchor won Best Newcomer of the Year at the National Fish and Chip Awards. Situated in the heart of the Cotswolds, it’s a traditional chippy menu with a gourmet twist, with panko-coated calamari, prosecco offerings and MSC sustainably sourced fish.
3. Bradford: Towngate Fisheries
Towngate Fisheries won two awards at the National Fish and Chip Awards this year – the National Federation of Fish Friers Quality ‘Champion’ Award, and owner, Mark Drummond, was presented with the Outstanding Achievement Award. This chippie can claim to serve the healthiest fish and chips in the UK – its ‘Lite Bite and Lighter Options have all been nutritionally tested and developed to contain fewer calories.
4. York: Millers Fish and Chips
Run by David and Nick Miller, fish and chips has been in the family for over 75 years. Millers was voted Best Fish & Chip Shop in the UK 2018, and offers six species of MSC fish, a Halal and gluten-free menu.
5. Nottingham: The Cod’s Scallops
The Cod’s Scallops now has three branches serving MSC cod and haddock. It boasts a secret recipe batter and the shop includes a fishmonger selling wet fish and seafood.
6. Hertfordshire: Godfrey’s
Godfrey’s was named Best Fish & Chip Shop in Central and Southern England 2017. Owner Luke Godfrey often gives talks on sustainability to local schools.
7. Herne Hill: Olley’s Fish Experience
As well as serving MSC cod, haddock and plaice, Olley’s became the first fish and chip shop in the world to serve MSC golden redfish earlier this year.
8. St Andrews: Cromar’s Fish and Chips
Cromar’s were named Scotland’s Best Fish and Chip Shop of the Year and serves sustainable MSC Shetland mussels; cod, haddock and plaice.
9. Stonehaven: The Bay
Serving MSC haddock, cod cheeks and even tongues, The Bay is owned by industry expert, Calum Richardson, who is passionate about zero waste and trying new things.
10. Brecon Beacons: Penaluna’s
Penaluna’s was voted Best Fish and Chip Shop in Wales at the National Fish & Chip Awards 2018 and was a finalist in five other categories, including the Good Catch Award for Sustainability. It serves MSC cod, haddock and hake.