How do you know if the seafood you are eating are sustainably sourced?

The Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) is an international non-profit organisation that works towards protecting seafood supplies for the future – by certifying fisheries, and encouraging people and restaurants to go for their Blue Label-certified seafood.

As part of the World Gourmet Summit (WGS) 2019‘s slew of programmes and activities this year, the MSC hosted a cooking masterclass and lunch at Grand Hyatt Singapore, showcasing an array of dishes featuring MSC-certified sustainable seafood.

The dishes were carefully curated and presented by Grand Hyatt Singapore/ South East Asia’s Director of Culinary Operations, Chef Lucas Glanville. He has been posted to Singapore since 2010. An Australian national, Chef Lucas received his formal culinary training at Slough College in the UK. After a classical upbringing at Mayfair’s “Le Gavroche”, Lucas ventured back to Melbourne to run the kitchen at “Browns” restaurant, which, after two years under his guidance, won the coveted “Best Restaurant in Australia Award”. After spending some time at “The Point” on Albert Park Lake and the uber-chic city restaurant “The Republic”, Lucas moved to Asia in 2002, heading the multi-award-winning restaurant mezza9 at Grand Hyatt Singapore as the Executive Sous Chef.

In 2012, Grand Hyatt Singapore’s first ever sustainable seafood menu at mezza9 was championed by Lucas, as part of the hotel’s commitment to the Food. Thoughtfully Sourced, Carefully Served philosophy. The hotel is totally committed to only serving certified sustainable seafood.

These were the dishes served by Chef Lucas and his culinary team:

MSC Certified Spencer Gulf wild King Prawn cocktail, avocado, lemon

MSC Certified Spencer Gulf wild King Prawn cocktail, avocado, lemon

Roasted soy and sesame MSC Certified Glacier 51 Toothfish, leeks, superior sauce

Roasted soy and sesame MSC Certified Glacier 51 Toothfish, leeks, superior sauce

At one point, this fish was almost harvested to danger of extinction

At one point, this fish was almost harvested to danger of extinction

Classic baked MSC Certified Maine Lobster Thermidor, fine herb salad

Classic baked MSC Certified Maine Lobster Thermidor, fine herb salad

Ice cream flower pot, rooftop herbs, cookies and fudge

Ice cream flower pot, rooftop herbs, cookies and fudge

Over lunch, representatives from MSC shared on their approach towards marine sustainability – to encourage everyone to buy products with their blue fish label so that we can all become part of a virtuous circle, helping to protect the productivity and health of our oceans. Industry partners were present too to share their views, including representatives from Meiho, a Japanese Marine Products Processing Company that is MSC Certified.

Meiho uses traditional fishing methods to promote sustainable fishing and abides with certification guidelines from MSC including the observing of sustainable catch effort limit, avoiding juvenile catch and by-catch to their utmost efforts. The Meiho representatives also shared on how getting the MSC certification helped saved their fledging business by carving a niche for themselves in supplying sustainable seafood in the competitive fishing industry.

During his cooking demonstration, Chef Lucas shared that for MSC Certified seafood, he is able to identify the catch location, among other sourcing details to ensure that they are obtained in a sustainable manner. Case in point, the Spencer Gulf wild King Prawns which were served for lunch:

The folks from MSC also shared on their success story with the Toothfish (also known as Chilean Sea Bass) which was almost harvested to the brink of extinction, but was carefully brought back to a sustainable supply with the efforts from MSC and their partners.

Given the focus on sustainability in recent years and the emphasis on sustainable food sourcing, it is good to know that MSC and their partners are leading the efforts in the arena of sustainable fishing. To know more about what MSC does and ways to support them, visit their official website.