Nearly 90% of Dutch Michelin star restaurants serve unsustainable fish: Report

An investigation into the use of sustainable fish at high-end restaurants in the Netherlands determined that most served at least one fish item that could have long-lasting negative impact on the ecosystem. The study, carried out by non-profit organization Good Fish Foundation (GFF), found that 89 percent of restaurants use a fish species that is red-flagged on the organization’s sustainability index VISwijzer.

Only ten of the 95 restaurants researched exclusively serve fish that is marked as green because of its acceptability, or orange as an eventual warning to the consumer. Fish species are given the red card when issues like overfishing and damage to the seabed by fishing businesses is taken into account, the GFF said.

“Unfortunately, many ‘special’ fish species are only exclusive because their rarity is due to overfishing,” wrote GFF director Christien Absil. Bluefin tuna, eel, and skate were among the most frequent examples the organization saw.

The GFF also pointed to research by the Poynter Institute and Dutch broadcaster KRO / NCRV that showed that even if Dutch restaurants want to serve more sustainable fish, their options are severely limited by poor offerings from fish wholesalers.

There are 110 restaurants in the Netherlands that carry at least one Michelin Star. The Good Fish Foundation analyzed the 95 restaurants that had an updated menu available on their website.