Leicester

Fish and chip restaurant closes amid owners' 'environment concerns'

The Fish and The Chip
Image caption The Fish and The Chip opened two years ago

A fish and chip restaurant has closed down after the owners said they felt "uncomfortable" about the environmental impact of their business.

The Fish and The Chip, in St Nicholas Place, Leicester, was billed as a modern take on traditional fish and chips when it opened in 2017.

However, its owners said a recent fishing trip had got them thinking about its green footprint.

They said they were working on a new food-based venture.

Image copyright The Fish and The Chip
Image caption The building has now been put up for sale

A notice placed in the restaurant's window said: "Our fishing trip was great but turned out to be a bit of an eye-opener.

"We saw the impact pollution is having on the oceans and fish stocks and we are not comfortable running a restaurant that has an impact on our environment."

Image caption The owners posted a sign explaining their decision to close

They did not say what form their new venture would take but said it would be based around "gluten-free, plant-based food".

Owner Aatkin Anadkat said his main concerns were declining fish numbers around the world and fish eating plastic particles found in the water.

He said: "Effectively you're serving your customers that and they're consuming it."

The WWF has described overfishing as one of the most significant drivers of declines in ocean wildlife populations and scientists recently said cod levels in the North Sea had fallen to critical levels.

Image copyright EPA
Image caption Owner Aatkin Anadkat said he was worried about serving fish that had eaten plastic particles

Mr Anadkat said he also understood some people might suspect the restaurant was actually being closed for business reasons.

He said: "There is more than one reason - as with most things - but I've learned along the way that if something doesn't feel good, then you shouldn't do it.

"We're not going to be opening another site but we're certainly in the plant-based food business and it's a nice place to be."

Image copyright The Fish and The Chip
Image caption The Fish and The Chip described itself as "the modern chippy" when it opened in 2017

A spokeswoman for The Vegan Society said: "The number of vegans has quadrupled in the last four years and there are also increasing numbers of consumers looking for a more sustainable and compassionate diet who are keen to try more vegan food.

"This is the perfect moment for this business to move to being a full-time vegan one."

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Mr Anadkat said he was also concerned about falling fish numbers

Malcolm Hunter, from Friends of the Earth in Leicester, said: "Halting climate change and protecting biodiversity doesn't necessarily mean that we have to give up eating fish - or meat and dairy entirely - but we do need to substantially reduce our consumption.

"In addition, we need to ensure what we do eat is produced sustainably."

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