Seafood experts have attacked Asda after the supermarket chain stopped stocking monkfish and criticised some of the UK’s best known chefs for contuning to offer it on their menus.
Restaurants named as environmental ‘sinners’ by Asda included Gordon Ramsay’s The Savoy Grill, La Noisette and Claridges, Rick Stein’s restaurants, Jean Christophe Novelli’s A touch of Novelli and Jamie Oliver’s Fifteen.
Chris Brown, head of ethical and sustainable sourcing at Asda said: “Monkfish is still a favourite dish on the menus of top restaurants all over the UK – which is why Asda believes that leading chefs also have a pivotal role to play in helping to conserve dwindling stocks.”
However, some of the UK’s top seafood industry bodies have come to the defence of the chefs slamming Asda’s criticism as irresponsible and unfounded.
Nathan de Rozarieux, Seafood Cornwall project director, said: “People like Stein and Oliver source their monkfish from sustainable sources in Cornwall and there is no shortage of the fish in the area.
“It’s a cynical cheap shot, which sends out the wrong message and Asda should really have checked their facts as statements like this can be quite damaging.”
This was supported by Philip MacMullen, head of environmental responsibility at Seafish, who said he was disappointed at Asda’s decision to pull monkfish off its shelves as there is no scientific evidence supporting such a decision.
“There is no doubt that this decision will have an impact on many sectors of the fishing industry and we’re disappointed that Asda has not taken into account that several different methods are used to catch monkfish,” he said
By Kerstin Kuhn
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