Devon based restaurateur, chef and author scoops sustainable fish supper award

Date posted: 26 January 2017

‘Rockfish’ batters competition for acclaimed chippie accolade

A group of top Devon chippies owned by UK chef Mitch Tonks, has won the Good Catch Award at this year’s National Fish and Chip Shop Awards.

The six Rockfish Seafood Restaurants were awarded the accolade by judges from Marine Conservation Society (MCS) and Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) who jointly sponsor the award.

Good Catch aims to encourage sustainable sourcing in the fish and chip shop industry and help diners to eat fish from fisheries and fish farms that are minimising their impact on the marine environment.

Mitch, who also runs The Seahorse in Dartmouth and the Spiny Lobster in Bristol, is no stranger to the National Fish and Chip Awards - Rockfish won ‘Best Independent Restaurant 2012’ and ‘Best Community Contribution and Best Multiple award 2015’ at the Awards but this is the first time his sustainability credentials have taken the prize in the awards.

Demonstrating that sustainability is at its core Rockfish provides customers with a broad range of species including MSC certified cod and haddock from Norwegian waters and locally sourced and MCS Good Fish Guide green rated hake and crab from Brixham market.

“This award means a lot to us as serving sustainable seafood is at the heart of our values. We teach it throughout our business and are over the moon to have the efforts of our people and our practices recognised amongst such great company says Mitch Tonks

The judging panel said Rockfish performed very well across all criteria for this award including their buying practices traceability and communications.

Judges were particularly impressed with Rockfish’s excellent knowledge of the seafood they buy which has enabled them to make responsible buying decisions and to promote sustainable seafood to a wide audience.

The Good Catch Award rewards fish and chip shops that have made a conscious effort to change the way in which they responsibly source and promote their fish and in doing so help protect the industry for the future.

The other finalists were Papa’s Fish and Chips based on the outskirts of Hull and Fish City in Belfast. MCS Head of Fisheries and Aquaculture Samuel Stone who was on the Good Catch judging panel along with the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) says understanding of sustainability among chippies is massively improving: “It’s been great to see a range of promising new entries for this award and this year experience and understanding of sustainable seafood issues has paid off for Rockfish. For several years they have taken steps to keep improving the sustainability of their seafood and they do a great job of communicating this to their customers and the wider public. Well done.”

George Clark UK Commercial Manager at MSC said: “The standards of entries for Good Catch this year were outstanding making the judging process quite challenging. However Rockfish proved that the sky’s the limit when it comes to giving their customers fully traceable and sustainable fish suppers. I hope that many more fish and chip businesses follow their lead.”


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