Over the next three months, great chefs from nine EU countries (Belgium, Denmark, France, Greece, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal, Romania and Spain) will share some of their favourite fish and shellfish recipes in a campaign that will feature other countries and chefs until the end of the year. The goal is to promote the importance of local, seasonal and sustainable seafood consumption.
'Taste the Ocean' is a social media campaign promoted by the EU Commission in collaboration with top chefs, encouraging the consumption of fish and seafood caught or bred in a sustainable way. And according to Brussels, there has never been a more pressing moment to convey the importance of responsible seafood. "It comes at a time when fishermen and aquaculturists are facing the economic impact of health measures linked to the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic such as the various blockades or the closure of restaurants and catering services, which represent the main outlets for their products," a statement from the Commission said.
The campaign enlists the help of some of Europe’s best chefs, including Joan Roca of Celler de Can Roca in Girona, Spain, Greek chef Giorgos Tsoulis, Sang Hoon Degeimbre from two-star restaurant L 'air du temps in Belgium, Christian Puglisi, from Copenhagen, Denmark, and Antonia Klugmann of the L'Argine restaurant in Vencò, in Italy.
Klugmann, who has held a Michelin star since 2014 is “aware that every fish we take out of the sea is one less resource for the future”. For this reason, it is essential “not only to use local and seasonal fish but also to make a choice on how the fish is caught”. We must therefore look carefully at suppliers, "choose fishermen and organisations that strive to catch adult fish of the correct size in limited quantities and using selective techniques".
“It is essential to achieve more sustainable habits," said Virginijus Sinkevicius, European Commissioner for the Environment, Oceans and Fisheries. "Which is why we collaborate with some of the most famous chefs in Europe. We want to sensitise consumers to the importance that individual choices regarding fish products have for the health of the seas, and at the same time we want to support EU aquaculture producers and support the sustainable recovery of our coastal areas."
A video series exploring the issues around sustainable seafood and fish management can be seen here on Euronews.