Sainsbury's hooks river cobbler for certified fish line

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Sainsbury’s is claiming an industry first by introducing farmed fish that has been certified by the newly formed Aquaculture Stewardship Council.

Two own-label lines of natural (250g) and smoked (240g) river cobbler (also known as basa and pangasius) launched into 150 stores today. A lightly dusted product (260g) will follow next week. All products are priced at £2.25 per pack. Distribution of all three products will increase to 400 stores from 1 May.

The fish has been certified by the ASC from feed mill to final product. “This launch gives us a step towards all our fish being independently certified as sustainable by 2020 as part of our 20x20 Sustainability Plan,” said a spokeswoman. It would also encourage consumers to try alternative species, she added.

Sainsbury’s has not sold river cobbler for a number of years and only sold plain fillets when it was on sale.

River cobbler is a type of fast-growing catfish.

The ASC was set up as a sister organisation to the Marine Stewardship Council to certify farmed fish, which will in future be increasingly required as a food source to feed the rising global population. It was set up in 2010 by WWF and IDH, a Dutch sustainable trade organisation.

Readers' comments (7)

  • Tried smoked river cobbler from Sainsbury's - oven baked with lemon juice and knob of butter - delicious and so reasonable.

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  • I've cooked 2 sets of river cobbler bought from Sainsburys in Sydenham. On each occasion I was fine, but on the first occasion, my husband vomited 3hours afterwards and then the 2nd time he had severe tummy cramps. Is this a known reaction to the fish?

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  • I have been eating River Cobbler for breakfast (bought from Sainsburys, Tesco or ASDA) for at least the last three years. I poach it in milk with a little parsley and often add two chopped hard boiled eggs and some grated cheese. I then thicken it with a small spoon of cornflour dissolved in milk and serve it on toast.
    It is an excellent product and is a true equal to both Haddock and Cod.

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  • Cooked smoked cobbler for the first time to-day. Delicious! A drop of olive oil and some milk in a frying pan and only needed 5 minutes.

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  • We had river cobbler today, shallow fried with Indian fish spices, and accompanied by a chick pea curry and boiled rice. We'll definitely have this fish again. It had a lovely mild flavour and a firm enough texture that it didn't break up when being plated up. Scrumptious!

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  • My partner works in the kitchen for a large pub chain (most chains serve it too due to its cheapness). She has eaten all types of fish,muscles etc with no reaction, but only has to touch this fish to swell and itch. Ive read elsewhere about others having similar problems. Think i'll stick to cod and haddock..a true northern supper.

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  • Bought river cobbler from Sainsburys as it was a lot cheaper than other fish and the fillets looked nice. Cooked it in the oven in tinfoil with a slice of lemon. It cooked in 10 mins and was a lovely piece of fish. However I have now read the reports about where this fish comes from and even though I enjoyed it I am doubtful about buying it again due to the source .

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