Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall created confusion over cod, says Mitch Tonks
Well-known fish cook and food writer Mitch Tonks has criticised a fellow West Country celebrity chef for warning people off cod in favour of lesser fish species.
The Dartmouth restaurateur said Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s recent campaigning Channel 4 programme had created “more and more confusion” about which fish were sustainable to eat.
Mr Tonks, who uses Marine Stewardship Council-approved (MSC) cod and haddock from Norway in his fish and chips, said he was “totally and utterly not in favour” of telling the public to boycott cod.
He said: “Hugh’s Fish Fight has done a great job of highlighting many of the negative issues in the fishing industry, but going on TV saying ‘don’t eat cod’ is not a helpful way to get people to understand what they should be eating. We have got to be giving a more balanced view of the issues.”
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He said that in his view it was not realistic to expect the British to abandon eating their favourite fish, typically eaten fried in batter, in favour of other species.
“I think what it has done is create more and more confusion,” he said. “We are a cod-loving nation. You can’t replace eating cod with gurnard – there isn’t enough of it.”