Award winning chefs join the Off the table campaign

In October last year, we launched Off the table – calling on chefs and restaurants to take farmed salmon off their menus. The coalition campaign aims to raise awareness of the horrendous impacts on wild salmon and the wider environment, as well as sustainability and welfare issues linked the salmon farming industry, in Scotland and beyond. Today, we’re pleased to announce three award-winning, trailblazing chefs who have joined the campaign – Tom Hunt, Douglas McMaster and Darren Broom.

Chef Tom Hunt

Tom Hunt is an award-winning chef, writer and climate change campaigner. He is the author of Eating for Pleasure, People & Planet, and co-founder of Poco in Bristol. Here is why Tom supports Off the table:

“I believe in a fairer food system that works in harmony with nature. I’ve come to understand that our actions matter; even as individuals we have the power to create change and to be part of the solution, simply by eating the best food we can.”

Douglas McMaster is a chef, an author, a presenter and the owner of Silo, the world’s first Zero Waste restaurant. Here’s why Douglas, and his head chef Max Maclean support Off the table:

“Salmon farming is a gross negligence against nature. Salmon farming is a disgusting example of profiteering with complete abandon for the natural world and it’s inhabitants.”

Darren Broom is a champion of regenerative, seasonal and sustainable British food. As the head chef of Pythouse Kitchen Garden, Tisbury, he continues to spearhead the culture of self-sufficiency and sustainability. Here is why Darren supports Off the table:

“Stepping away from farmed salmon, along with other food products that are damaging ecologically, ethically & environmentally has been our mission from the offset.”

Chef Darren Broom

Darren, Doug and Tom join a growing group of tastemakers who are turning away from farmed salmon on account of its immense environmental, sustainability and welfare impacts, including MARA in Arran, and the Meikleour Arms in Perthshire.

Last week, salmon farming hit the headlines again as new data showed that mortalities on farms doubled between 2021 and 2022, hitting an eye-watering 15 million between January and November last year. On average, 1 in 4 farmed salmon will not survive the period that they are confined in open-net farms in the Scottish west coast and islands.

Growing mortalities indicate much more than just a welfare issue on farms; they are concurrent with increasing lice levels, and the subsequent impact on wild fish; rising chemicals use, dispersing into the surrounding environment; and an increase in antibiotic use on salmon farms, contributing to the risk of antimicrobial resistance. Mortalities also represent a colossal waste of our planet’s resources, as farmed salmon are raised on a diet of wild-caught fish and plant proteins such as soya.

A food system that is increasingly reliant on antibiotics and continues to consume wild caught fish for feed is inherently unsustainable. Fresh seafood should not come at the expense of our planet’s health or animal welfare, which is why we’re calling on chefs and restaurants to take farmed salmon off their menus.

To keep up to date and to get involved head to our What can you do page or click on the link below– and keep your eyes peeled for more announcements in the coming weeks.