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Iceland now selling fish normally thrown back into the sea

A chain of supermarkets with branches in the borough are to become the first to sell fish otherwise thrown back in the sea by fishermen.

Iceland will start selling whiting and pouting, which is deemed surplus to requirements by other store chains.

Until now, whiting and pouting have been thrown back into the sea either dead or dying – just because they’re the ‘wrong’ type of cod or don’t fit size criteria.

Megrim and grey gurnard, other types of white fish rejected by some stores, will be packaged up and sold with the cod to be used to make dishes such as fish curry and fish pie.

Forty per cent of all fish caught worldwide is captured unintentionally and returned to the ocean – never to make it to the dinner table.

The unwanted fish, known as ‘bycatch’, is a major issue for the fishing industry because it has a massive impact on sustainability levels.

The chain’s bycatch will be sold as their ‘What the Fish?’ range.


The announcement comes in the wake of the supermarket’s recent pledge to go ‘plastic-free’ on its own label products by the end of 2023 and to stock biodegradable chewing gum.

Richard Walker, Iceland’s managing director, said: “Enjoying fish that is traditionally seen as bycatch gives us more variety and also helps make eating fish more sustainable.

“The more that supermarkets can do to encourage customers to try to new options, the better for the planet”

PICTURED: Iceland’s new What The Fish? brand (PICTURE: Iceland)

Neil Nugent, Iceland’s head chef, said: “Grey gurnard, whiting, pouting and megrim are incredibly tasty, versatile fish.

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“We wanted to make these species available to more shoppers to help them widen their repertoire of white fish.

“We are also clearly helping to improve the sustainability of UK fisheries by not discarding good, edible fish as waste, or racking up more miles of transport by sending it to markets overseas.

“‘What the Fish?’ is a natural continuation of our sustainability commitment, which has seen Iceland become the UK’s first major supermarket to commit to removing plastic packaging and palm oil from its own label food.”

TOP 10 – MOST COMMONLY CONSUMED FISH:
1. Cod
2. Haddock
3. Salmon
4. Tuna
5. Plaice
6. Mackerel
7. Sardines
8. Trout
9. Kippers
10. Pollock

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