Fancy some delicious fish without a nasty aftertaste?

Jeroen Verbraeken Food 24 May 2016

The demand for sustainably sourced fish has increased rapidly in recent years. Supermarkets in particular are selling more types of sustainable fish. Excellent! However, menus in Dutch restaurants rarely include fish that has been sustainably sourced or bred.

As the manager of the Dutch Goede Vis op de Kaart (Good Fish on the Menu) programme, I'd like to tell you how we are going to improve this situation. Goede Vis op de Kaart wants customers to be able to consciously opt for sustainably caught fish. Using our programme we can check restaurants and help them to buy fish using the Viswijzer (the national sustainable fish guide), wherever possible.

Subsidy

To help us achieve this, we receive subsidy from Duurzame Horeca Leiden en Omstreken (Sustainable Catering Industry Leiden and surrounding areas), who run this site. Thanks, in part, to this support, nine restaurants in Leiden have already signed up to our programme. These are Logica, de la Soul, Scarlatti, Prentenkabinet, In den Doofpot, In den Bierbengel, Dende, Poort van Leyden, and La Diva.

Leiden as frontrunner

And so the catering industry in Leiden is now the frontrunner of our national list of members. Of the participants mentioned, Logica is fully certified. This restaurant already manages to avoid all `red´ types of fish from the Viswijzer. The other members, in consultation with their suppliers, are working towards achieving certification.

Chefs are willing

I have noticed that many chefs would like to buy `good´ fish. This is motivated by personal convictions, craftsmanship, and the rising demand from customers. In practice, it can prove tricky.

Fish is a complex product where sustainability is concerned. To start with, there are countless different types of fish. There are widely varied fishing techniques, which inflict varying degrees of environmental damage. There are many sources of fish, each with their own regulations for management. Besides, each species of fish has its own biological characteristics. A fish with a slow reproduction rate, for example, is more sensitive to over-fishing.

Viswijzer

The Viswijzer takes all of this into account, because the ecosystems in our seas and oceans need to become healthy again, and biodiversity should be prevented from further declining. In the Goede Vis op de Kaart (GVodK) programme, we use the Viswijzer for an independent judgement. We check the purchase accounts of each participating business.

Choose for yourself

Restaurants that take part in our programme purchase `good´ fish as much as possible. They invest time and energy into this and may accept a higher purchase price into the bargain. They opt for sustainable quality products.

Do you agree that sustainably caught fish is important? Then choose restaurants with Good Fish on the Menu. They deserve your support. Look out for our logo on the door, website and/or menu. Or look for a place to eat on the Goede Vis op de Kaart website. I wish you `good´ food.

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