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Ángel León: “In the future I hope to offer cast-off fish on a supermarket shelf"


The Aponiente chef comes out once more in defence of cast-off fish to find a "balance in the sea", fish he wishes to popularise to take them to supermarket shelves.

The leading exponent of cast-off fish and marine sustainability could not fail to be at Meeting of the Seas. Ángel León (Aponiente***, El Puerto de Santa María) gave a talk on "the crusade of my life": making cast-off fish part of diets, "which is now happening, although there is still much work to be done". And this was his focus: “In a few years I want to sell cast-off fish on supermarket shelves, showcase them and encourage people not to reject them, because otherwise we don't have any future as a society".

Previously, León and the congress-goers accompanying him had been homing in on the reasons why these fish were not fully appraised. “One reason is the name: ‘Cast-off’. We might have to do some marketing to work on their image", he admitted. More reasons: the legal problems involved in fishing and bringing in these kinds of fish. This was taken up the president of the International Coalition of Fishing Associations, Javier Garat, “a voice I want to hear”, said León: “We have to work to furnish incentives, to make the process profitable and improve legislation", replied the president, also from Cádiz.

The diagnosis was in place, but the solution was anything but easy. León declared he would go on working to support this kind of fishing, "and I know that to do this I have to leave the restaurant and move into the fishing industry and consumption policy, so that people aren't scared of eating fish they don't know. I want to reach supermarket shelves with cast-off fish". That time will come. For the moment, he explained, "I've taken action with Pescanova to use all their cast-off fish, and turn it into recipes for the school canteens managed by Compass Group. 

He has used fish to produce pizzas, spaghetti and chips for them, thereby introducing another debate: “Does fish have to be disguised to be eaten?", Benjamín Lana asked. “It's a cultural thing, there's no reason why it should be any worse, it's much easier this way, and what I want is for people to eat more fish", repeated León. Because the future of the sea, he concluded, "means talking about species that have no value at the present time".