Making waves for sustainability on "seafood coast"
July 22nd, 2017. \\ Dining in Europe.

Some of the best fish on the planet is landed on England’s South Coast Devon every day. That’s why it is called “Britain’s seafood coast.”

One restaurant which is flying for flag for sustainability is Rockfish, a chain stretching out across the south west with the latest due to open in Exeter.

It buys a selection of the best of the landings each day for its restaurants, including the Torquay branch.

From gurnard and Dover sole to lemon sole and lobster, there are over 30 species to choose from. In fact, if it doesn’t have your favourite today try tomorrow as it’s probably still in the sea.

For Rockfish, sustainability is all about ensuring we do not fish a species beyond the levels at which it can reproduce and maintain healthy stock levels.

Owner Mitch Tonks says, “We must also ensure that fisheries are managed in such a way that the harvesting of wild fish does not upset the delicate balance of an oceans eco-system or damage the environment beyond what can repair itself naturally.

“Nobody wants to see a world without fish and there has been a huge focus on ensuring we are aware of the issues.”

Its Torquay site opened in 2014 and, sitting slightly back from the harbourside, has loads of charm. A cosy beach shack feel awaits diners, with a log fire and a window into the kitchen so guests can see its chefs preparing your food

At the Torquay restaurant, there is also live music on selected Wednesdays. It also supports a local charity, the Holiday Helpers Network, by adding a discretionary £1 to each bill.

“It’s a small way of making big impact on our local communities,” says Mitch, who has become one of the most respected and knowledgeable seafood people in the country and an acclaimed restaurateur, chef and author in the process.

His takeaway restaurant chain has twice claimed ‘Best Independent Restaurant’ at the National Fish & Chip Awards. Of his books, one of them – Fresh – scooped ‘Best Fish Book’ at the Gourmand World Cookbook Awards. And his achievements and influence have been further recognised with a nomination for Ernst & Young’s ‘Entrepreneur of the Year’ and inclusion in The Caterer’s prized ‘Top 100 Most Influential Foodies’ list.

Mitch is committed to constantly giving back to the community and such accolades are an acknowledgement for a philosophy that is genuine.

Rockfish, Victoria Parade, Torquay


Martin Banks is a highly experienced accredited journalist with many years experience of working with the EU institutions. He is an occasional contributor to EU today, writing on a wide variety of issues.

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