Most people across the UK are avid seafood eaters; they love chowing down on sushi and fish and chips. Therefore, they often leverage online seafood delivery services to get their favourite fish delivery right to their doorsteps. In today’s blog, we will look at some of the most popular seafood in the UK.
The big five fish species
The inhabitants of London enjoy the following five species of sea creatures:
These five species make up approximately 60% to 75% of all seafood eaten in the UK. All the other seafood, such as crabs, shellfish, lobsters and other crustaceans, fall in the remaining 25% to 40%. Of course, different sources give different figures for the exact percentage, but the Big Five still rule the seafood industry.
Wondering why most of the fish delivery services are delivering these fishes only? The main reason behind this is that Brits have pretty unadventurous culinary habits. The cod and haddock they order are whitefishes and produce delicate, flaky white flesh, which has a sweet and mild flavour. The majority of these two fishes are processed into fish fillets covered in breadcrumbs.
On the other hand, tuna and prawns are preferred in cans and are usually sold fresh or frozen but have been peeled, shelled and prepared. Salmon is also traditionally sold in chilled or fresh fillets as most of the British public prefer pre-prepared seafood and a hassle-free cooking experience.
What are the impacts of consuming the Big Five?As these five seafood species dominate the UK market, there is significant pressure on these species. Stocks of cod and haddock have dwindled around the UK due to intensive commercial fishing of these species. It has also negatively impacted other species, such as whiting, dab, and coalfish. Despite being perfectly edible, these species are difficult to sell as customers do not highly value them. And even if caught by mistake, these fishes are thrown back in the sea dead simply because they are unwanted.
What can be done to prevent this?
Reducing the dominance of these “big five species” is the only way to enable sustainability. If the fishing pressure is spread across a wider number of species, the marine environment will become so much better. To allow the stocks to recover, you can switch your orders and try the low-value species. Once the customers start valuing these species, they will not be thrown away dead as a by-catch but retained in commercial vessels.
The onus is also on the fishermen because if they continue to fish using destructive methods, like beam trawling, then the efforts of the seafood eaters towards sustainability will be futile. Therefore, they are also expected to use non-destructive methods of fishing, such as pole-and-line, to source the fishes responsibly.
So, next time, whenever you order seafood online in the UK, remember to try some less popular species too. You might get your new favourite, you never know! Call us on 01472 566000 or send us a message if you have any questions on our products.