Stein roasted for putting ‘rare’ UK tuna on his menu
By Dominique Hines
dmg media (UK)
RICK Stein has been condemned by conservationists for serving bluefin tuna only months after it returned to Cornish waters following a 70-year absence. Staff at his restaurant were filmed preparing the fish in a video on social media. But a wildlife campaigner said Stein should be ashamed of himself for cashing in on ‘these rare incredible fish’. The promotional video from the Seafood Restaurant in Padstow, Cornwall, said it was served ‘seared with guacamole and a soy dressing, chargrilled steak with salsa verde, and raw on our sashimi plate’. A caption added: ‘The impressive Bluefin Tuna is back in Cornish waters after a 70-year absence and we’re very pleased to give you the chance to try it on our menus now.’ Mr Stein’s son, Ed, the restaurant’s director, added that the catch was from ‘a thoroughly wellregulated source’. On the current menu, the sashimi plate of raw fish, including tuna, costs £29:95. Dominic Dyer, a wildlife campaigner, wrote on X, formerly known as Twitter: ‘Why are fishermen being licensed to catch these incredible fish? Also, what is Rick Stein thinking, promoting the catch of this rare 150kg specimen to feed to tourists in his hugely expensive Padstow restaurant? ‘There is no such thing as sustainable management of these rare incredible fish and Rick Stein should be ashamed of himself cashing in on killing them.’ Fishermen were banned from catching bluefin tuna – the most expensive fish in the world – after overfishing of herring and mackerel depleted its food supply and it vanished off Cornwall in the 1950s. But it has now returned, due to rising sea temperatures and the ban was relaxed in 2021. A spokesman for Stein’s restaurants said the fish was caught by ‘one of ten boats with a licence to catch some of the small quota allowed by the Marine Management Organisation – a quota that’s been carefully decided upon following detailed tracking and research of tuna in our waters’.