If you are cooking for yourself or family it may be easy to choose a sustainable fish that is wild caught, but in a restaurant you may have no clue. Fish2fork.com, a new website, is a restaurant rating system that rates a restaurant on its performance of serving sustainable fish and the quality of food. The website is run by Charles Clover, environment editor of The Daily Telegraph and creator of The End of the Line, a documentary about industrial fishing based on his book with the same title.
For the past decade our oceans have been under constant attack and are now suffering from overfishing, ocean acidification, coral bleaching, endangered sea mammals and pollution. Overfishing is just one part of larger problem that needs to be fixed, but this is at the core of Fish2Fork's mission. What makes the problems with our oceans so scary, is that the problem for humans is out of sight, which usually means out of mind. It's kind of like a smoker. If a smoker could see the damage they were doing to their lungs everyday with each puff of a cigarette, they may not be so inclined to smoke. If we could see the damage we were doing daily to our oceans, perhaps we would be making different choices.
Today, most restaurants give little or no information on where their fish comes from, which plays a large part in disconnecting a diner from their food. What if you knew before you went to a restaurant or ordered your sushi, sashimi, or fillet that what you were about to eat was the last of an existing species? Fish2Fork is hoping that consumers with a little bit of knowledge about the food they are about to eat, or the restaurant they choose, will make better choices and help protect our oceans and sea life.
When rating restaurants, Fish2Fork has a number of criteria by which they score restaurants. They review a restaurant's menu too see if any of the seafood they serve is listed on the endangered species list and/or the "fish to avoid" list. They also rate restaurants on whether they provide full information about the fish or shellfish they serve e.g. it is farmed, wild, line caught etc.. Customers can also complete a questionnaire where they can "rat on a restaurant," or praise a restaurant they like.
If you want to eat only sustainable seafood, check out Fish2Fork's website. They have a growing database of restaurants that you can search before you leave home.