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 (5)

  • 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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