Falmouth fish and chip shop champions sustainable fish

17 — 27 November 2011

Falmouth’s award-winning fish and chip shop, Harbour Lights, is taking cod off the menu for a week.

Falmouth’s award-winning fish and chip shop, Harbour Lights, is taking cod off the menu for a week to try and persuade its customers to try other species.

On Monday, November 21, Harbour Lights will have a cod-free menu for one week in a bid to encourage the fish eaters of Falmouth to try an alternative to cod.

Harbour Lights was one of the first fish and chip shops in the UK to fully consider fish sustainability and since 2006 has adapted its menu to ensure that its valued customers can enjoy sustainable portions of fish and chips.

Harbour Lights is also currently the only Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) certified restaurant in Devon and Cornwall.

Owner, Peter Fraser, explains: 'In challenging economic times, it may seem like financial suicide to take your best seller off the menu for a week, but we are also in challenging environmental times, and one thing that would really help the world’s marine resources would be if we were not so stuck in our ways and were more willing to try different species of fish. There are so many tasty alternatives available.'

Peter continues: 'The idea of a Cod Free Week at the Harbour Lights came up in a coffee time chat several weeks ago, but it has taken a little time to pluck up courage to go for it.'

Sustainable future

The decision however was made very easy after Peter was invited last week to speak at a local primary school in Wendron about sustainable fish. In a class of ten and eleven year olds, they were trying to define what the word sustainable meant. 

A little hand shot up. 'It’s about not being selfish,' the young voice said, 'I really enjoy cod and chips and I think my grandchildren should be able to as well.'

During its Cod Free Week, Harbour Lights will be serving a big variety of tasty fish, with hake, pollock and whiting being promoted as the closest matches to cod. All will be at bargain prices to assist customers in trying something different.

Hannah Arcaro, from the MSC, said: 'Harbour Lights are environmental champions and over the years have built a well-earned reputation for offering their customers a delicious and sustainable tea.

'Although there are now several sources of sustainable cod, a lot of people are keen to try something new but fall back on the old favourite of cod ‘n’ chips when they’re in the queue. I’ll be very excited to see how Harbour Lights’ customers respond, this is their chance to think outside the chipbox!'

David Parker, also from the MSC, added: 'It's really great to see a fish and chip shop take such a keen and proactive stance on sustainable seafood.

'It is fantastic to see an initiative that exposes the public to a wide variety of sustainable fish, raising awareness of environmental issues they may never have associated with their fish supper. To see Harbour Lights invest so much in the future of sustainable fish is a really positive thing.'