Five Festive Fish

The Christmas tree doesn’t have to be the only thing that’s green in your household this Christmas. As well as ditching the plastic straw with your Christmas cocktail, or using recycled paper to wrap presents, choosing sustainably sourced seafood can make for a truly ocean conscious Christmas. Here are five festive fish that are green-rated on the Good Fish Guide to add to your menu this Christmas.

Oysters

Any farmed shellfish is a genuinely sustainable choice. Oysters, mussels and clams all fit the bill. Unlike farmed fish, they don’t need any feed and they actively clean the water they’re grown in. A single mussel filters 10 litres of water a day. We should all eat more shellfish, they’re one of very few guilt-free animal proteins. Raw oysters certainly aren’t to everyone’s liking, so why not give oysters Rockefeller a go for an indulgent festive treat.

Langoustines

Langoustines are another great choice. We export most of these live to Europe, where they grace fine dining establishments across the continent. Here in the UK, we know them better as scampi. There’s a crucial difference though, scampi are almost always caught using trawlers and many of these fisheries score poorly on the Good Fish Guide. Creel caught langoustines are a great choice. There’s much less impact on the seabed and the prawns will be in much better condition. Do check with your fishmonger before buying.

Scallops

Much like langoustines, not all scallops are created equal. Most scallops are dredged, and while there are some well managed fisheries, we would recommend hand dived, or farmed scallops. Yes, they are more expensive than their dredged counterparts, but at least the seabed isn’t paying the price.

Dover sole

We’ve seen great improvements to Dover sole stocks in recent years and many sources are green-rated on the Good Fish Guide. This is another species that is normally shipped to our fish-loving European cousins and for good reason. Dover sole is one of the most delicious fish found in British waters. If you’re new to cooking fish whole, this is a great one to start with. Its firm flesh makes it pretty forgiving when it comes to overcooking (within reason). It’s also very easy to lift the fillets from the bones once cooked. Ask your fishmonger to skin and trim it for you and avoid fish caught by beam trawlers.

Smoked Salmon

If you’re looking for the most sustainable smoked salmon this Christmas, we’d suggest organic farmed salmon. Organic standards means farms have to adhere to strict rules on stocking densities, as well as chemicals and medicines. Their feed is comprised of off-cuts rather than wild fish. If you can find it, wild MSC certified salmon is also a good choice. While regular farmed salmon certainly isn’t a bad choice, these two options are the best choices as far as sustainability is concerned.

Be sure to check out our Good Fish Guide for more sustainable seafood choices.