Mackerel goes on the menu at Nelson fish and chip shop

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A celebrity chef’s national campaign to stop over-fishing, and to encourage people to eat a wider range of fish, has inspired a Nelson fish and chip shop owner to put something different on his menu.

Lee Holt, of Holt’s Fish and Chips, Scotland Road, was inspired to offer an alternative to haddock after watching Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s BAFTA award-winning programme, Fish Fight, aired on Channel 4 earlier this year.

The award-winning shop has been offering customers the chance to try battered mackerel with their chips – and following a huge positive response has officially put it on their menu.

Lee said: “I just felt we had to do something. The programme said the key to getting people to switch to less popular species was fish and chip shops. I thought we ought to give it a try.”

The series examined the problems of over-fishing and the UK’s reliance on haddock, cod, and salmon, and also brought attention to the fact that half of all fish caught in the North Sea are thrown back dead.

Lee has also signed up for Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s Mackerel Mission, which aims to get people eating a more sustainable fish than other traditional fish.

He added: “So far, it has been going well and after customers initial surprise they seem to like it. It is a stronger and oilier fish than haddock, but it does seem to complement the batter very well.”