Simply put by the Oxford Dictionary ‘Sustainability is the conserving of an ecological balance by avoiding depletion of the natural resource’.
Have you ever asked yourself what it is your supplier of seafood does on a day to day basis to make sure that you the chef are truly sourcing responsibly? With ownership in over 30 Fishing Vessels as well as investment in Fishing Quota we at Marrfish pride ourselves in providing a passionate consultative approach to help the modern day chef make informed decisions as to what fish should go on the menu on a day to day, season by season basis.
Quality is at the forefront of our customers’ thought processes when choosing a fish supplier. However with increased awareness the modern chef should also be thinking ethically, environmentally and sustainably when planning their menu.
Why are Marrfish different?
Quite simply put it is because of the foresight and investment of the Marr family over a sustained period of time. Rather than being followers in a market place of information they are working with partners in the fishing industry to make a difference. Management of Quota, Vessel Ownership, Purchasing, and innovation of fishing gear and now through Marrfish they are actively working to make sure that stocks are preserved sufficiently to provide for the future.
Through Our Vessels
All of our vessels are actively encouraged to sign up to the ‘Responsible Fishing Scheme’. Based on a publically aware specification from the British Standards Instituition (BSi), the Responsible Fishing Scheme is an independent, audited assessment of the application of good practice by a vessel skipper and crew in their fishing operations.
75% of our vessels are fitted with controlled CCTV technology that is monitored by the authorities. For this the fisherman are granted additional quota for Cod as a reward for stopping the malpractice of discarding.
As leaders in modern fishing methods, our boats use certain types of fishing methods so as to target specific species during a trawl. Larger Escape panels are woven into the net in either the top or side panels designed to fit the specific responses of Cod and Haddocks as they try to escape from a trawl allowing the skipper to be more selective when fishing.
Environmentally the fishing techniques our vessels employ are modern demersal techniques and sophisticated purse seiners, all of which enable the skipper to be more selective with the species they target.
Conservation Credit Scheme – a scheme that our vessels are allocated enhanced effort allowance, in addition to their basic allowance, for agreeing to participate in the conservation credit scheme which enforces their undertaking of additional conservation measures. One such measure is the closure of whole areas within the North Sea which may be Seasonal (Cod Spawning Time), Periodically when Cod catch levels exceed a set limit or Real Time Closures as published on the Marine Scotland Website.
Our vessels also actively take part in the ‘Fishing For Litter’ scheme. Fishing for litter is an active environmental response to the progressive increase of marine litters in the seas around Great Britain.
Through Quota Management
Dynamic foresight at the time the Scottish fleet was reducing in size saw the Marr family invest heavily in purchasing quota for all species of fish in the North Sea. From a sustainability point of view we are proud to say that none of our vessels have discarded a Cod since 2012! By working in cooperative manner should a vessel catch any species that they don’t have particular quota for they are able to lease additional quota at the drop of a phone call enabling all fish caught to be landed at Peterhead. This practice is something that we not only see as a sustainable measure but also as morally correct.
Through Our Purchasing
We maintain regular contact with our vessels on a day to day making sure that we are regularly up to date with regards to how fishing is progressing, what is being caught and more importantly the condition of the fish being caught. This helps our dedicated team to choose and promote on those species that are in prime condition. This helps helps us avoid the purchase of fish that are in a spawning state as best as possible, giving stocks the opportunity to replenish.
Additionally, when sourcing seafood from around the rest of the UK we make use of our industry partners who typically land from smaller Day-Boat craft. These vessels have a significantly lesser impact on the environment than most ocean-going beam trawlers. These partners are chosen specifically for their knowledge with particular species and as such are in prime place to advise us as to the condition of fish going forward helping us maintain our principles.
Through Our Sales Teams
At Marrfish we believe passionately in promoting more of the underutilised British species such as Hake, Megrim, Coley, Pollock and Squid all of which are caught by our vessels out of Peterhead, which at present in an estimated 80% of cases these fish are exported abroad to Spain and France.
All of our sales teams will provide a consultative approach to our customers, advising of fish that are in prime condition, what you should be seeing on your menu and what you should be avoiding. We will endeavour to give you all the options available to you to build a menu that you are confident enough to satisfy even the most discerning customer.