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Edinburgh Fish City

By Caroline Rye

Belhaven lobster

A new city-wide campaign aims to get sustainable seafood onto consumer’s plates.

Edinburgh Fish City is a new campaign aimed at bringing sustainable seafood to Edinburgh. Based on the successful UK Sustainable Fish Cities campaign from Sustain, the alliance for better food and farming, the project seeks to help fishermen, direct sellers and other businesses selling seafood in Edinburgh connect with consumers looking to buy and enjoy more sustainable seafood. With the impact of Covid-19 and Brexit affecting export markets the campaign is putting businesses in touch with local people who want to buy better when it comes to seafood.

To get involved, businesses sign up to the Sustainable Fish Cities pledge. This asks them to commit to telling their customers where the fish was landed and how it was caught, agreeing not to sell species of seafood on the Marine Conservation Society’s Good Fish Guide ‘red’ list, and helping to promote more sustainable, ‘green’ rated seafood and small scale fishing to consumers.

They are added to Edinburgh Fish City’s online seafood directory, where consumers can contact them directly to buy from them. The campaign is focusing on making this online hub a destination for local customers looking for sources of sustainable seafood. They can visit the website and know that the businesses listed there have signed up to the standards of the Sustainable Fish Cities pledge when it comes to sustainability.

Hand-dived scallops from The Ethical Shellfish Company

With lockdown having seen a rise in cooking at home, buying direct from businesses on the directory means customers are just a few clicks away from getting their seafood fix. Enjoy the Ethical Shellfish Company’s hand dived scallops from the Isle of Mull produced with zero habitat damage and delivered to you in eco-friendly packaging. Or try Scottish lobster or brown crab caught in creels from down the coast by Belhaven Lobster, a family business dedicated to protecting stocks for future generations.

Middle Eastern seafood platter from Leftfield

If you’d rather someone else do the cooking neighbourhood restaurant Leftfield in Bruntsfield have also joined the campaign. They provided their delicious seafood platters throughout lockdown and continue to do so, showcasing Scottish seafood at its best. Enjoy ‘Leftfield at Home’ by ordering a platter (and maybe some wine!).

Edinburgh Fish City has been brought to Edinburgh by the marine conservation charity Open Seas with Edible Edinburgh, the city’s sustainable food partnership representing a range of organisations and the city council. The project is part of Edible Edinburgh’s goal to reach Sustainable Food Cities Silver status, and aims to bring seafood into the wider conversation around sustainable food in the city.

The campaign uses the Marine Conservation Society’s long running Good Fish Guide ratings to help determine which seafood to promote and avoid. Their ratings were updated in October 2020 with Southern Bay of Biscay seabass joining the red list to avoid. However there are lots of species to enjoy such as saithe (also known as coley), herring, hake and mackerel, or mussels and clams on their ‘best choice’ list.

To find out more about the campaign and buy from the businesses that have signed up so far visit the website or follow on Instagram @edinburghfishcity to find out the latest on who has signed up.

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