sustainable salmon from loch duart

POSTED 10 January 2011 IN Community

“I strongly believe fish farming is the solution to dwindling fish stocks and sustainable suppliers such as Loch Duart are a key part of that answer.” Silla Bjerrum, Feng Sushi Co-Founder and Chef

Salmon is Feng Sushi’s most popular fish. We sell over 5 tonnes of it every year. Finding a top quality sustainable supplier was always a big issue. For the last ten years we have been using pioneering Scottish salmon farmers, Loch Duart. Forget what you think you know about farmed salmon, Loch Duart salmon are the closest thing to wild fish. They use natural tides to ensure clean fresh water and a pristine environment; their low-density rearing system means the salmon have room to swim and develop into muscular, torpedo shaped fish with an outstanding taste. As much as they can Loch Duart try to recreate the wild conditions. Every six weeks the salmon are moved and the pens are lifted to dry naturally in the wind and sun. At Loch Duart they operate a fallow system taking one farm out of production each year, this cuts down on loch bed pollution and means they don’t use any chemicals on their pens. The salmon are only fed non-GM fishmeal from sustainable sources. Loch Duart has the one remaining Scottish broodstock left so that any escaping fish will have minimal impact on wild stocks. All this doesn’t just make sense for the environment it also makes sense for chefs, well reared fish just taste better and Feng Sushi aren’t the only ones to recognise this. Top chefs from around the world (including ‘Worlds best restaurant’ The French Laundry) use them too.

Feng sushi founder Silla recalls how she got to know Loch Duart

“One year into Feng sushi I got curious. I wanted to know where the food was coming from. I went up to Scotland to visit our original salmon suppliers. As soon as I stepped on the walkways of the fish farm I knew those fish weren’t happy. They seemed crammed in and it all seemed so industrial. I went back to my fishmonger and said there must be something better. He told me about Loch Duart. As soon I got there I knew fish welfare was of paramount importance to them. I watched the fish swim freely from pen to pen, they leapt happily like wild fish. The owners were more than willing to answer all my questions about water quality, escapes, the impact on environment and fish welfare. As we progressed feed became a big issue and we talked about what goes in the meal.

Andy Bing, one of the owners of Loch Duart, gives his own take on what the Feng Sushi relationship means to him.

“We sell in 14 different countries but we are based in one of the most remote parts of Northern Europe. Having a dialogue with the chefs putting our food on people’s plates is hugely important to us. We love to hear about how our salmon cuts and tastes and how that relates to the way we farm. Of all the chefs we supply feed back from sushi chefs is the best. The French cook salmon so it’s pink in the middle and in Scotland they cook the hell out of it but sushi sets the benchmark for taste. When you serve fish raw you get the most direct feedback, there is no disguising the quality.”