The sustainability of seafood has been a current topic for years now, and with the restrictions on catching sea bass and the ever growing list of unsustainable species, we believe it is so important to give back to the ocean which provides us with our livelihoods, and you with your food.
That’s why, here at The Cornish Fishmonger, we pioneered the first direct campaign between the consumer and the ocean in order to offer our customers a sustainable option.
The Cornish Fishmonger teamed up with the National Lobster Hatchery in 2011 to create a ‘Buy One, Stock One’ initiative. The aim of this was to give back money to the hatchery in Padstow, so that they could release baby lobsters back into the wild, to help sustain vulnerable stocks. For every lobster bought from us, we donated 50p to the National Lobster Hatchery, and gained support even then from prominent chef, Mark Hix.
Over time this scheme has developed in accordance with the demand for sustainable fish, and has helped raise awareness, all over the country, of the delicate state that our fish stocks are in. The National Lobster Hatchery has since developed this concept into the ‘Buy One, Set One Free’ campaign and although inspired by the original initiative, this one is proving even more lucrative.
The basic principle is that for every lobster sold by a restaurateur, caterer, or supplier (such as ourselves), the customer donates £1.75, and the seller matches it. This makes a total donation of £3.50 to the hatchery. With more and more businesses signing up to this sustainable seafood scheme, it is proving to be a very valuable ongoing revenue resource for the charity’s important marine conservation, research and education work.
From the Scilly Isles to North Yorkshire, in the last year the number of businesses subscribed to the campaign grew by 20%. This has resulted in over 21,000 lobsters released in the last year alone, around the coast of Devon, Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly (a record breaking amount!).
We are so proud to have been a part of the creation of this amazing program, and to see it growing yearly is just incredible. The hatchery’s charitable work is incredibly important and also extremely exciting - they are already established as a Centre of Excellence for Lobster Science, with research that has been cited all around the world.