World’s top chefs: Eat small fish to make big difference

SAN SEBASTIAN, Spain — Want to make a big impact on the health of our oceans? Think small, top chefs say. As in anchovies and sardines.

TINY FISH. A child looks over a day’s catch of sardines at the Hout Bay Harbour near Cape Town, South Africa. In the Philippines, sardines and other small fish are a staple in many households, but this isn’t the case in many Western countries. So two weeks ago, 20 leading chefs from some of the world’s best-rated restaurants met in Spain to draw attention to a simple solution to overfishing: eat more little fish - anchovies, sardines, herring and mackerel. (AP FOTO)
TINY FISH. A child looks over a day’s catch of sardines at the Hout Bay Harbour near Cape Town, South Africa. In the Philippines, sardines and other small fish are a staple in many households, but this isn’t the case in many Western countries. So two weeks ago, 20 leading chefs from some of the world’s best-rated restaurants met in Spain to draw attention to a simple solution to overfishing: eat more little fish – anchovies, sardines, herring and mackerel. (AP FOTO)

That’s the message from 20 of the world’s leading chefs, who gathered in northeastern Spain on Tuesday to draw attention to what they hope is a simple solution to the threat facing many of the larger fish species that overfishing has pushed to near collapse. Their take: If more people ate more little fish — anchovies, sardines, herring and mackerel, for example — both human diets and seafood populations would improve.

Ferran Adria, of Spain’s now closed elBulli restaurant, joined with Grant Achatz of Chicago’s Alinea, Massimo Bottura of Italy’s Osteria Francescana and more than a dozen other chefs for a summit with the US-based ocean conservation group Oceana to discuss leveraging their star power to get these fish not just onto their own menus — which only a lucky few will ever eat from — but into restaurants and homes worldwide.

“It’s the right moment and the right ingredient,” said Gaston Acurio, the co-owner and chef of Peru’s famed Astrid y Gaston restaurant, during an exclusive round table discussion with The Associated Press. “One of the best markets in the world is health and wellness, and anchovies and small fish are health and this is wellness that is good for society.” (AP)

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