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High street eateries and pubs falling short on seafood sustainability

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High street restaurants and pubs need to do more to prevent seafood being overfished, analysis by Fish2fork and the Marine Conservation Society (MCS) shows.

Of 11 restaurant and pub chains assessed, Yates, Giraffe, Little Chef, Slug and Lettuce and Wasabi failed to meet Fish2fork and MCS’ minimum expectations on sustainability. Jamie’s Italian was the highest ranked outlet, closely followed by Brasserie Blanc, Loch Fyne, Las Iguanas, Strada and then TGI Fridays.

Fish2fork and MCS looked at the origins of the seafood served, the information provided to customers, and the approach to sourcing by 11 restaurant and pub chains to provide a rating for each outlet. More than a third of high street restaurant and pub chains rated by Fish2fork and MCS in the last two years have failed to meet the two organisations’ minimum expectations on sustainability. Almost a third of commercial fish stocks are now overharvested, according to the United Nations, and with 15% of the world’s annual catch being caught illegally, efforts to use sustainable supplies of seafood are vital.

However, some popular restaurant and pub chains are making huge strides towards ensuring that only responsibly sourced seafood is served on the high street.

“It’s fantastic to see the work restaurants like Jamie’s Italian and several others are putting into seeking out sustainable seafood,” said Tim Glover, managing director of Fish2fork. “It’s not easy to ensure seafood is responsibly sourced, but it’s vital for the health of our seas and worth every penny invested by restaurants.”

He added: “I’d like to offer my congratulations to Jamie’s Italian, Loch Fyne, Brasserie Blanc, Las Iguanas, Strada, TGI Friday for achieving a blue fish rating in this phase of our project to assess high street chains. They are setting an example that we think others could and should follow.”

Samuel Stone, Head of Fisheries and Aquaculture at MCS said “We shouldn’t have to leave our values and ethics behind when we eat out, and these blue fish rated restaurants are showing us that we don’t need to when we order the seafood from their menus.”

King prawns and other tropical prawns were, once again, identified as one of the most problematic types of seafood used by restaurants and pubs. Fish2fork and MCS encourage restaurants to use certified supplies but too often they either fail to do so or fail to make it clear to customers what their source is.

A lack of information to consumers remains one of the obstacles to diners who wish to eat seafood sustainably. Lack of transparency and information makes it impossible for the public to be sure the seafood being served is from well managed fisheries and fish farms.

Of 32 of the nation’s most popular restaurant and pub chains rated since 2015, 13 have been given red fish ratings while 19 received blue fish ratings. Fish2fork ratings are on a scale of 5 red fish, the worst, to 5 blue fish, the best. With 5 red fish at the bottom of the scale, ratings improve, half a fish at a time, to rise to 4.5 red fish, 4 red fish and so on until 0.5 red fish. From here, ratings rise from 0.5 blue fish to 5 blue fish.

June 2017 ratings: 

Blue fish (best)

  • Jamie’s Italian  – 3.5 blue
  • Brasserie Blanc – 3 blue
  • Las Iguanas – 3 blue
  • Loch Fyne  – 3 blue
  • Strada – 3 blue
  • TGI Friday – 1.5 blue

Red fish (worst) 

  • Yates – 1 red
  • Giraffe – 1.5 red
  • Little Chef – 2 red
  • Slug & Lettuce – 3 red
  • Wasabi – 3 red

MCS and Fish2fork are working to ensure that all seafood eaten or traded in the UK is from well managed fisheries and fish farms that have as little impact on the marine ecosystem as possible.

Diners can now post up their own reviews of restaurants across the UK using DinerRatings, an online initiative available via fish2fork.com or on the MCS Good Fish Guide app which is available, free, on iphone and android.

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Announcing the Winners of Scubaverse’s November 2022 Underwater Photo & Video Contests

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Another bumper month packed with amazing images and videos from around the world! It has certainly been another great month for entries in both contests – your underwater photos and videos are just getting better and better! Thanks to all who entered.

To find out who the winner of Scubaverse.com’s November 2022 Underwater Photo Contest is, click here.

To find out who the winner of Scubaverse.com’s November 2022 Underwater Video Contest is, click here.

If you’re not a winner this month, then please do try again. December’s photo and video contests are now open.

To enter Scubaverse.com’s December 2022 Underwater Photo Contest, click here.

To enter Scubaverse.com’s December 2022 Underwater Video Contest, click here.

Good luck!!!

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Dive Training Blogs

Tips for… Refreshing Skills

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A hugely important subject, and one that should be considered by any diver regardless of your training level. Just like anything, sometimes life gets in the way, we get sidetracked and before you know it, it’s been 2 months out of the water. It may not seem like a lot, but we naturally start to forget things when they are not used. We slow down our actions as we are out of practise and have to think a little more in order to retrieve the information to help make decisions.

There’s nothing wrong with this of course, we cannot always be diving! But it is important that we refresh before getting straight back into it. We obviously conduct a lot of refresher courses here at the dive centre, but we are also realistic, knowing that not everyone will want to pay to refresh their skills with an instructor. That’s also fine too, just be sensible.

Our tips for this would be the following; some will likely seem a little common sense… but it’s always good to have a reminder right?!

First off, when getting back to diving, choose a buddy that you usually dive with or someone that has a higher level of competency in diving. This will give you the reassurance in the water and not have to be worrying about the others person whilst getting back into it yourself.

Secondly, choose a site that you know. Don’t be jumping straight in having seen an amazing new site that you want to try out… that can wait for another time. You have already had a break in your actual diving, without having to then also consider navigating and a new dive plan.

Next, try to leave out the brand new equipment. It’s great that getting back into diving you have decided to buy yourself a new drysuit, fins and BCD, but it all might be a little bit much. Let’s concentrate on just getting back into the water and then move onto those new additions. This kind of change can make even the best of divers anxious.

Last but not least, there’s nothing wrong with staying shallow. Our first dive to get back into it, does not need to break our dive depth record. Stay shallow, enjoy the marine life at this depth, and keep the dive nice and easy. Practise those skills if you would like to, make sure you know where all your equipment is positioned and get comfortable. The ocean isn’t going anywhere… there’s always tomorrow to get in for another!


Find out more at www.duttonsdivers.com

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