Often called the “Norwegian Miracle”, this month our Billingsgate wholesale team will be supplying our restaurants with the finest sustainable Norwegian cod.
Only available for a short window from January – April when these fish begin their migratory journey, travelling from the Barents Sea to their traditional spawning grounds along the Norwegian coast. It’s this epic 1000km journey through freezing, turbulent waters which gives the Skrei their unsurpassed fresh taste and their name which comes from the old Norse word for “the wanderer”. Today, Skrei come from one of the world’s largest and most sustainably managed cod stocks, with only 10% of over 400 million migrating cod being caught and branded ‘Skrei’.
So, what does it take for a fish to earn the quality mark of ‘Skrei’ cod?
1. All the Skrei cod must be full grown (approximately 5 years) when they are wild-caught.
2. Skrei cod is a highly seasonal product, so they should only be caught between January and April.
3. They must only be caught in the traditional spawning grounds near northern Norway’s Lofoten and Vesterålen islands.
4. All the fish must be in immaculate condition — no nicks, bruises or damage.
5. They must be stored in 0-2°C temperatures and packed and processed by trained staff within 12 hours of catching.
As a carefully controlled product, everyone involved in the supply chain must adhere to strict guidelines put in place by a wide range of associations, unions and authorities. It is these rigorous controls, checks and Norway’s commitment to the protection of future supplies which has meant that ‘Skrei’ cod has been certified by the Marine Stewardship Council for sustainability.
We’ll be showcasing this amazing product with some delicious specials at our restaurants including, roast fillet of Skrei Cod, braised chickpeas & chorizo. Please check our menus online or speak to our restaurant to ensure availability.
Image credit: 1, 2 & 6 Norway Seafood Council
Image 3, 4, 5, 7 & 8: Matt Austin