Monday, 12 November 2012

Project Research: Interview with the Fish Supplier.

A few weeks ago now I went to Arbroath to speak to the fish merchant who supplies the fish to my fish & chip shop. I wanted to ask him a few questions about sustainability within fishing and how he feels about fishing quotas. I had a few questions prepared to get the ball rolling but was hoping to have more of a conversation with him and find out some information that would be of relevance that I hadn’t thought of. Luckily it turned out that way!

I started by asking him about the t.v. programme ‘Hugh’s Fish Fight’ and what his opinions were on sustainability. Although he agreed with fishing quotas and the monitoring system in place as it has put a stop to selling ‘Black Fish’, he had a different opinion on what would help sustain the haddock stocks. In his opinion sustainability can be helped if we stopped catching fish when they are spawning. When fish are spawning they become thin and tasteless, the fish should not be caught at this time as they are weak, they need to become strong again before they are caught. Easter is when the haddock that he buys will be spawning therefore Easter is when our shop should stop selling haddock if it were to follow the rule of not catching fish when spawning to help sustainability. This would not go down well with customers as traditionally Easter is a busy time for the fish & chip shop. I wondered if perhaps the chip shop and his fish business could work together and sell a different type of fish to help the cause however he didn’t agree. 95% of the fish he sells is haddock, he said it is very difficult to get people in this area to buy another type of fish. I asked if he could suggest another type of fish we could try to sell instead but he didn’t think this was a good idea. It seems people are set in their ways and it will be a difficult task to change this but I think eventually it could be done. People today are more open to trying new foods, maybe if they knew about the variety of fish and knew what it tasted like they would not be as scared to buy it. Most kids don’t like fish but they will eat it from a fish & chip shop as it’s dressed up differently, maybe adults would be the same if you offered them some halibut served up in a different way they might bite…

In my opinion I feel the key to helping the sustainability issue is to educate and encourage people into buying a variety of fish not just the one type. This meeting was very helpful as it has backed up a few of the areas I have been researching already.

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