Top chefs call on MEPs to vote for improved seafood transparency

Date: 8 March 2021

Today, six of Europe’s most accomplished chefs sent a letter to Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) asking them to vote in favour of increasing public access to information about the legality and sustainability of seafood. This week, MEPs will vote on the revision of the EU’s fisheries Control Regulation, a system of monitoring, inspection and enforcement for fishing operations in EU waters and the activities of the EU fleet globally. The letter has the support of the EU Fisheries Control Coalition.

“As chefs, we go to great lengths to provide our clientele with information about where the food we serve comes from. However, with seafood, it is not always feasible to guarantee that all of it is sustainably sourced. We would like to see a clear track of seafood products from net to plate, to provide our consumers clear information about where our seafood products come from and how they are caught. Currently, not enough is being done to make this information available,” said David Ariza Abad, Founder and Chef at Freeland Cook  in Spain.

Loopholes in the current EU fisheries Control Regulation enable illegal and unsustainable fishing activities, which threaten marine life and risk future food insecurity. Improving information about seafood supply chains would enable the EU to manage its fisheries more sustainably and deliver citizens their right to choose responsibly sourced seafood, while safeguarding ocean health for generations to come.

By voting for the mandatory use of readily available digitised systems, the European Parliament could ensure that both fresh and processed seafood is tracked back to its point of catch. Further, by voting for Remote Electronic Monitoring (i.e. the installation of CCTV cameras on vessels) to be mandated on both larger and smaller fishing vessels, the Committee would provide access to the data needed to manage fisheries more sustainably and conserve protected species. Finally, by voting in favour of EU Member States publishing information on how they monitor fishing, control the industry and prosecute rule breakers, the Committee could ensure that fisheries rules are applied consistently and fairly across the entire fishing sector.

“We ask MEPs to use their vote to pull our seafood out of the shadows. With access to the right information, we can all choose to source and consume nutritious food that supports Europe’s transition to a sustainable, robust and resilient food system that protects the future of our planet,” said David Ariza Abad.

The letter was signed by:

David Ariza Abad
Founder and Chef at Freeland Cook

Bertílio Gomes
Owner and Chef at Taberna Albricoque
Promoter of sustainable and locally-sourced seafood

Paco Morales
Chef at Noor (2 Michelin stars)

Hans Neune
Chef at Ocean (2 Michelin Stars)
2019 Chef of the Year in Portugal; 2020 nominee in the international Best Chef Awards

Bart van Olphen
Chef, author and co-founder of the sustainable seafood brand Fish Tales.
The Netherlands

Ximo Saez
Head Chef at Restaurante Alma and President of the International Rice Association