Masterclass demystifies seafood sustainability
The informal training courses provided by Marine Biologist Matt Slater of Cornwall Wildlife Trust’s Cornwall Good Seafood Guide were very well received and are designed to ensure that staff is able to answer customers questions on seafood and to make informed choices when choosing seafood to put on menus.
Tania Clark, Sustainability Specialist at Red Hotels said,
“Matt’s masterclass was informative and engaging and our staff are now much more confident to answer questions when asked what seafood is sustainable. “
Nick Hemming, Catering Development Manager at St Austell Brewery said,
“We are pleased to be supporting this valuable initiative which helps businesses like ours show that we are addressing the important issue of seafood sustainability. Our Chefs found the presentation interesting and benefited from learning about the rationale behind Cornwall Good Seafood Guide. “
The public are increasingly concerned about the health of our oceans and some have been put off seafood by negative stories in the press. Cornwall is lucky to have a wide range of fresh seafood provided by many different fisheries and fish farming operations, but many people are not confident in choosing seafood as a result of this complexity.
In the Seafood Sustainability Masterclass, Matt addresses this by explaining the history behind Cornwall’s fishing industry, from pilchard seine netting to the current highly technical and efficient but heavily regulated fishing industry, and explains the fishing methods currently being used in a very easy to understand way. He talks about how Cornwall Good Seafood Guide takes the complex subject of sustainability and presents a clear message to the public. He ends by discussing the top ten best seafood choices and how to find them!
Cornwall Good Seafood Guide is an award winning project of Cornwall Wildlife Trust which helps us all make good seafood choices, it encourages us to eat more local and sustainable seafood and to think more carefully when buying seafood. The project was initially set up using a grant from the European Fisheries Fund and the Marine Management Organisation facilitated by the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Fisheries Local Action Group. A cutting-edge, user-friendly website was created, by Falmouth web design company Dewsign, which provides information on over sixty seafood species and thirteen fishing and aquaculture methods that are in use today. It makes recommendations on sustainable options and a logo has been created that can be used by supporters of Cornwall Good Seafood Guide to highlight sustainable seafood on menus, packaging, websites and fishmongers counters.
In its first 18 months the Cornwall Good Seafood Guide has proven that the public want to know about seafood sustainability as the website has had over 90,000 page views to date. Over 70 local businesses have signed up as supporters of the project with each one making a contribution to the continuation and constant update of this vital service.
The aim of the project is to help local fishermen fish sustainably to better market their catch to locals and visitors to Cornwall. Reconnecting people to the fishing industry and getting people back in the habit of regularly eating fresh, sustainable Cornish seafood.
In time it is hoped that the project will encourage fishermen and fisheries managers to continue to improve the way they work.