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Direct Seafoods’ halibut warning

Direct Seafoods is urging fish and chip shops to take wild halibut off menus, and has pledged to only offer the farmed variety from both Scotland and Norway.

The move is in response to increased concern about the sustainability of halibut caught in the North Atlantic.

Laky Zervudachi, director of sustainability, comments: “Halibut is an extremely slow growing species and is considered endangered. There is growing concern at the lack of co-ordinated and consistent management plans to rebuild stocks across the North Atlantic.

“This is particularly concerning as the true status is unknown, meaning that fishing continues to deplete potentially unsustainable stocks. We sometimes hear the excuse that that Norwegian halibut is a by-catch species, but most halibut landed in Norway is from targeted longlines which, however well managed, are still targeting an endangered species.

“Direct Seafoods is clear that we won’t sell wild halibut until a truly demonstrable well-managed fishery is in place. The USA and Canada have proved that it is possible, and the Pacific halibut fishery has been MSC certified for many years. In the meantime, we’re urging chefs to avoid supporting the trade in endangered species and only put farmed halibut on menus.”

Direct Seafoods brings together 10 hospitality-focused regional fish businesses from Devon to Scotland under a national brand within the Bidfresh group.

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