Protecting the Aegean Sea – deliciously!

We are grateful to Mitch Tonks and Tart London who are supporting us by joining forces to create spectacular sustainable seafood !

Are you interested in attending the fundraising dinner hosted by Wild by Tart London, on the 14th of November?

Tickets £250 (including two raffle tickets) | RSVP to jade@preservation-funds.org

Fish populations in the Aegean Sea have been steadily declining in recent years, with dramatic impacts both on the marine ecosystem and on fishermen who see their profession collapsing. In addition to climate change, the dramatic decline of fish stocks in the Aegean Sea is caused by overfishing and the invasion of alien (non-native) species. Protecting the sea and the fishermen in the Cyclades islands is a priority for the Cyclades Preservation Fund (CPF), a UK registered charity whose co-founded by Ben Goldsmith, with Anastasios Leventis as Chairman of the Steering Committee.

In cooperation with local communities and experts, the CPF supports a range of activities designed to promote sustainable fisheries and to combat these alien species that harm the native species, and threaten the delicate balance of the marine ecosystem in general.

These efforts are possible thanks to the invaluable support of our friends from London, who love and care for the magical Cyclades islands. British seafood ambassador and promoter of responsible fishing Mitch Tonks, in collaboration with the new restaurant Wild by Tart London (from caterers to the stars who favour big flavours and seasonal ingredients, Jemima Jones and Lucy Carr Ellison) will prepare unique dishes with sustainably caught fish and seafood, accompanied by seasonal fresh sides with a nod to Greece through a few specialist ingredients. The guests of this special dinner, which will take place on the 14th of November will have the pleasure and privilege to taste these unique plates but will also join the ‘family’ of the CPF that actively contributes towards the protection of the Aegean Sea.

Responsible fish consumption, however, is not only matter of a gourmet dinner but a daily habit that we must all incorporate into our lives. Choosing sustainable seafood means the fishes are harvested in way that does not harm the ecosystem. The species aren’t overfished or fished under the permittable size or fished during the re-production period. It is important for all of us, depending the country we live, to search for our local fish guide, usually published by environmental organizations. Finally choosing sustainably harvested certified seafood is a good way to contribute towards the protection of the seas.

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ABOUT MITCH TONKS. Mitch’s route from accountancy to culinary stardom was as unorthodox as it was successful.  Today he is a talented chef, innovative restaurateur, and first-class cookery writer.  But above all he remains a passionate advocate for the delights of the sea.  Mitch is  ambassador for the MSC – the Marine Stewardship council – who do very important work ensuring fisheries are sustainable and well managed and keep on top of all the advice from scientists to the fishing industry to the fishermen themselves. Among many awards, he recently received a Lifetime achievement award from the Herald Express; Observer Food Monthly awarded The Seahorse Best UK Restaurant, Tatler named him Restaurateur of the Year, and the World Gourmands Awards named his Fishmonger’s Cookbook Best Fresh Fish Book.  In addition to running the Rockfish restaurant group in Devon and Dorset and The Seahorse in Dartmouth he launched the Mitch Tonks Seafood Academy at South Devon College in 2012, has written five seafood cookery books and makes regular TV appearances.

ABOUT WILD BY TART: Wild by Tart is a neighbourhood restaurant set within a multipurpose space. Housed in a former power station and coal store, the 9,000 sq. ft site combines a restaurant, bar, deli and kiosk, retail store, events space, and photography studio. Founded by Jemima Jones and Lucy Carr-Ellison, the successful duo behind bespoke catering company Tart London, and Tom Warren, founder of leading photography studio Lock Studios. The restaurant offers a relaxed, all day dining menu. Inspired by the places and people they love, Lucy and Jemima cook food with big flavours and seasonal ingredients, sustainably sourced where possible. Food is served from an open kitchen with counter seating, wood burning oven and charcoal grills.

ABOUT THE CYCLADES PRESERVATION FUND & SUSTAINABLE FISHERY: The promotion of sustainable fisheries is a priority for CPF, as the invasion of alien species in the Aegean Sea in combination with overfishing of the native species are threatening the marine ecosystem. Therefore, we currently support two projects in support of sustainable fisheries:

  • Pick the Alien: It Tastes Good: This project, run by local partner iSEA aims to promote the consumption of specific alien (invasive/non-native) species by promoting them in gourmet gastronomy. This is a quite a widespread practice, which has already created a high market value for a variety of species in many countries but until now, not in Greece. On the CPF’s Instagram you can also see work they’ve done recently with chefs in Santorini in order to promote the gastronomy of the dangerous for the preservation of the Aegean sea but delicious for our plates alien fish species in the local restaurants.
  • Fish Smarter: Less is More: This project, run by the partner Enaleia and co-funded with the Costas M. Lemos Foundation is helping to create an alternative source of income for fishermen and simultaneously fight against overfishing!