Restaurants lose 69 fish species due to over-fishing fears

RESTAURANTS will no longer be able to include 69 fish species on their menus after contract caterers said it will no longer provide them due to fears of over-fishing.

Catering firm Compass Group confirmed yesterday that they were imposing the ban over growing environmental concerns.

Compass provides food to thousands of restaurants and food outlets in Britain and also here in Ireland, including a deal to provide food to the redeveloped Lansdowne Road Aviva Stadium.

Fish on the list include four varieties of skate, five tunas and two types of plaice. American lobster from southern New England stocks will also be dropped, along with tiger prawns — unless organically farmed — and wild caught Atlantic salmon.

The Marine Conservation Society (MCS) in Britain identified the species as the “most vulnerable to over-fishing and/or are fished using methods which cause damage to the environment or non-target species”.

Compass created its sustainable seafood guidelines in October, with blue fin tuna among the first species on its “fish to avoid” list.

Further changes are likely in the future, Compass said.

Neil Pitcairn, fish and seafood buyer for Compass Group UK and Ireland, said: “As the world’s leading contract caterer providing meals to so many people each day, Compass’ decision to follow the MCS’ guidelines and de-list these species is significant.

“There are many wonderful and delicious fish that can be caught without risk of over-fishing.”

Simon Brockington, head of conservation at the conservation society, said: “This is a crucial step in ensuring the long term survival of vulnerable fisheries.”

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