Something fishy in Hackney

marine stewardship council

Look for the label: the Marine Stewardship Council logo

Hackney Friends of the Earth believe something positively fishy is happening in the borough.

We have been trawling for information about fishmongers, fish & chip shops and suppliers to find out if sustainable fish are available in the local area. Standards that are of utmost importance consider freshness, a Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) label or approval and safe non-destructive catching methods.

Why is it so important to eat sustainable fish? Commercial fish stocks, such as cod, herring, haddock and tuna, are facing depletion as a result of demand and general malpractice of overfishing and use of destructive fishing methods.

According to MARINET, “nearly 90% of all commercial fish stocks are over-fished in European seas, and a third of these stocks are now facing commercial extinction.”

There are a number of local options and outlets that sell sustainable fish produce: think of it as a combination of supporting local businesses and ethically-sourced produce.

These outlets include:

Fin and Flounder
A fish shop with a mission to reinstate the reality of a local London fishmonger in Broadway Market. A rigorous fish sourcing policy is outlined on their webpage, definitely one worth a visit.

Billingsgate Market
Based in Tower Hamlets is a stone’s throw away making it is easy to buy fish straight from the wholesaler. Sustainable fish on sale range from mackerel caught in Hastings to sardines caught in Cornwall and more.

The Fishery
‘More than just another London fish shop,’ it can be found on Stoke Newington High Street. The Fishery is a family owned fishmongers and seafood supplier offering sustainable fish that has been Freedom food labelled – assessed by strict RSPA standards. In addition to this service, the business also run a restaurant called Suttons & Sons across the road selling traditional fish and chips amongst other seasonal seafood dishes.

Fresh Fish Shop
On Morning Lane, close to Hackney Central station, a fishmongers shop selling fish caught in Bristol.

Fish House
Near Victoria Park, a contemporary fish and chip take away and sit-in restaurant offering fresh fish that is in season according to MCS standards.

Ethical shopping in supermarkets can be difficult but thanks to internal and external pressures, it is possible to find out whether fish bought in supermarkets is sustainable or not through labelling.

Supermarkets within the Hackney area that supply accredited fish are Morrisons, The Cooperative, Sainsbury’s and Tesco. Just remember to look at the labels to check accreditations. Not all supermarkets offer the same certified fish! Happy fishing!