Belfast chippie 'batters' competition to scoop MCS-sponsored sustainable fish supper award

By: Clare Fischer
Date posted: 25 January 2018

After just over five years of trading, a Belfast city centre fish and chip shop has won the coveted Good Catch Award at the annual National Fish and Chip Awards.


We were impressed with their strong sustainable seafood policy and they excelled in their passion of promoting sustainable seafood to the public online, instore and through their kids club education programme.

Rajna Gurung,
MCS Seafood Sustainability Advocate

The award is jointly sponsored by MCS and the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) to encourage sustainable sourcing in fish and chip shops across the UK. It rewards fish and chip outlets that have made a conscious effort to change the way in which they responsibly source and promote their fish in an effort to help protect the industry for future generations.

Fish City, who are based on St Ann’s Street in the Northern Ireland capital, were runners up in 2017, but this year beat off competition from Harbourside Fish & Chips in Barbican, Plymouth and Penaluna’s Famous Fish & Chips from Aberdare in Wales.

Rajina Gurung, MCS Seafood Sustainability Advocate and Good Catch judge, said it was fantastic to see the range of entries for the Award this year and she was really impressed with all of the finalists: “Congratulations to Fish City Belfast who showed a very strong commitment to sourcing their seafood responsibly. We were impressed with their strong sustainable seafood policy and they excelled in their passion of promoting sustainable seafood to the public online, instore and through their kids club education programme.

“Fish City Belfast really utilised the available resources to learn about the seafood they’re selling which was fantastic to see. They’ve taken steps to keep improving the sustainability of their seafood and have set a great example of what can be achieved when businesses put sustainability at the heart of what they do.”

John Lavery, owner of Fish City, said: “We feel humbled to have won these awards and are truly proud to be where we are today. We would like to take this opportunity to thank our dedicated team for all their hard work, as well as MSC and MCS for the guidance and support they have provided us since our opening.

“My wife, Grainne and I, have been fully committed to sustainability and healthy eating for a number of years. We firmly believe that these elements are an integral part of the Fish City brand and its future growth.

“We are proud to be the first retailer in Ireland to be MSC certified and we look forward to continuing to work with schools, local businesses and tourism agencies to educate and promote our core beliefs.”

Marcus Coleman, Chief Executive at Seafish, comments: “With customers becoming more interested in the nutritious value and content of their takeaways, the question of where and how our food is sourced has never been so important.

“As one of the UK’s healthiest and least adulterated takeaways on offer, a portion of fish and chips provides healthy amounts of protein, carbohydrates and many essential nutrients and vitamins. With an alternative ‘healthier’ menu on offer, Fish City does an exemplary job of producing nutritional content that’s equally as flavoursome as it is healthy.

“Not only does Fish City serve wholesome dishes, but they also recognise the importance of sourcing their fish responsibly and sustainably – both to meet customer demand and ensure the future of our nation’s favourite takeaway. Winning two awards in a UK wide competition is no easy feat, the team should be incredibly proud of their achievement.”

The National Fish and Chip Awards are organised by seafood authority, Seafish, The authority was founded in 1981 by an act of parliament to support the UK seafood industry for a sustainable, profitable future.

Actions you can take

  1. Download the Good Fish Guide App for iPhone
  2. Download the Good Fish Guide App for Android

Did you know?…

An estimated £1.1 billion is spent on fish and chips every year in the UK

The ocean sustains livelihoods and provides food for millions of people

Farmed marine fin fish production in Scotland is estimated to increase by 30% between 2014-2020

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