The Rockfish group of restaurants will remove cod from the menu this summer
Tonks says the supply chain has become “incredibly difficult to manage” following the invasion of Ukraine with sanctions-induced steep tariff hikes driving up the price of whitefish caught by Russian boats.
This in turn has driven up the price of whitefish from non-Russian fisheries, including Norway, where Rockfish currently sources MSC-certified cod.
Tonks stresses the decision is not permanent and a way to protect customers from ‘overpayment due to outside forces’ and says her nine-person South West-focused group is ‘looking forward’ to reintroduce MSC-certified cod in its menus when “the time is right”.
“We know that in some parts of Britain fish and chips means cod and chips. At the moment, due to global supply issues with significant financial implications for our customers, we have come together as a team and made the decision to make this summer the summer of UK fish,” he continues.
“It’s a brilliant time for British fishing and now is our chance to celebrate lesser-consumed but excellent British fish such as hake, plaice, gurnard and MSC Haddock.”
Last month it was reported that up to a third of UK fish and chip shops could close as the UK is so dependent on fish from Russia and sunflower oil from Ukraine.
Before the invasion, up to 40% of UK cod and haddock came from Russia, but the current situation makes supplies both scarcer and more expensive.