Brits Willing to Go the Extra Mile for Sustainable Fish and Chips

26 September 2016, at 1:00am

UK - Four in five (80 per cent) fish and chip fans believe that all of the UKs 10,500 fish and chip shops should serve certified sustainable fish, according to research carried out by YouGov on behalf of the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC).

Despite the majority (84 per cent) claiming that the location of the chip shop is important, over a third (39 per cent) would happily travel further to find certified sustainable fish.

Over two thirds of fish and chip shop lovers recognise that certified sustainable chip shops have a positive impact on the health of the oceans (70 per cent) but only a third (35 per cent) feel that they have the power to change it themselves, with over half believing that the UK government and fish and chip shops themselves (both 58 per cent) have the power to ensure that fish sold in chippies is sustainably sourced.

The research comes ahead of the MSC’s “Turn the Tide” campaign, which launched on 23 September at the UK’s No.1 fish and chip shop, Simpsons Fish & Chips in Cheltenham, and across a number of other MSC certified fish and chip shops across Britain. The campaign aims to show fish and chip fans that they have the power to end overfishing.

Sustainability is a concern for consumers of all ages but it is those aged 25-34 who feel particularly strongly - over a quarter (26 per cent) say they avoid unsustainable chip shops entirely. One in seven (15 per cent) of those in the same age group has stopped eating fish and chips altogether as they do not believe it is sustainable.

James Ritchie, Co-Founder of the UK’s best Fish & Chip shop, Simpsons Fish & Chips, commented: “As a frontrunner in the fish & chip industry, sustainability is of paramount importance to us and is vital to ensuring that our industry thrives. We believe both chippies and customers alike play a vital role in safeguarding the future of fish. We are proud to be supporting the Turn the Tide campaign and this is just one of the ways we go the extra mile to remind our customers to always seek out a certified sustainable catch. This in turn protects the Great British dish we all know and love and ensure generations to come can still tuck in to generous helpings of fish & chips.”

Toby Middleton, UK Programme Director for MSC, says: “It’s interesting that the public feels that they are low on the list when it comes to influencing whether fish and chips are sustainable. By voting with their feet and always choosing fish from an MSC certified chippie, customers have a huge amount of power to ‘Turn the Tide’ and protect the future of the ocean. That’s why we’ve enlisted our 75 MSC certified chippies to help spread the word and encourage shoppers and diners to be ‘ocean heroes’ by always choosing MSC fish."