Supermarkets in Falmouth UK
Cornish tuna has become the latest fish to be rebranded by a supermarket. From Monday, after a little linguistic cutting-and-shutting, Morrisons will be offering "Coruna" at its fresh fish counters.
The chain was the first supermarket to sell Cornish line-caught tuna three years ago, and has been working with Cornish fishermen in traditional north-east Atlantic fishing grounds.
More than half of it is sold to France, where it is considered a delicacy. Cornish producers are now hoping to win British consumers round to the fish, which will be in season for around six weeks.
"When it comes to eating fish, many shoppers clam up, so we're aiming to put this delicate and easy to prepare fish on family dinner tables across the country, " said Matthew Bailey, Morrisons fish buyer.
The move came amid mounting concerns about dwindling stocks of overfished cod, and was apparently prompted by customers' embarrassment at asking their fishmonger for pollock.
Similarly, the humble pilchard was rechristened the Cornish sardine by the local industry in an effort to regenerate the region's faltering economy.
Morrisons also commissioned research into the nation's fish-eating habits that revealed widespread ignorance of matters piscine.
Of those surveyed, 10% could name only three fish, while 2% of those polled couldn't come up with a single species. A quarter said they had no idea how to cook fish and 28% had no idea how to fillet it.
Almost 75% of shoppers had no clue that there were three classes of fish – white, oily and shellfish – and 39% of consumers didn't realise that fish was seasonal, like fruit or vegetables. In prime season now are wild sea bass and sardines.
The research also showed that more than one in five Britons say they don't like the taste of fish. And – despite concerns about dwindling supplies as a result of overfishing – those that do eat fish said they tended to stick to long-time favourites cod, salmon, Dover sole and haddock.
Meanwhile, it was announced today that Cornwall's sardine fishery has passed its Marine Stewardship Council assessment and been certified as a sustainable and well-managed fishery. That means the fishery – which recently gained European geographic designation for Cornish sardines – can now add the MSC ecolabel to its products.
Jon Harman, development director at the sea fish industry authority, said: "One of the many challenges the fishing industry faces is to prevent individual species from being overfished. In order to fulfil demand for one of the most popular fish eaten in the UK, we are pleased that the fishermen are not only catching this fish with minimal environmental impact, but also sourcing it from European waters.