M&J Seafood, the specialist seafood division of wholesaler Brakes, has attributed a 62% year-on-year rise in sales of gurnard to celebrity chef Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall's TV campaigns to protect our over-fished oceans.
The chef has championed the need to switch to less familiar species to reduce pressure on the ‘big five' - salmon, prawns, haddock, cod and tuna - and campaigned against the wasteful habit of discards at sea.
"We've been promoting under-used species to chefs for years and encouraged the ban of sales for endangered fish species," said Mike Berthet, director of fish and seafood at M&J.
"Our efforts have been given a boost by Hugh's Fish Fight, which has highlighted to consumers the size of the issue. Hugh's campaign has encouraged consumers to go into restaurants and try different species."
M&J was the first UK supplier to offer products approved by the Marine Stewardship Council, is part of the Responsible Fishing Scheme and runs the British Skippers Scheme which offers chefs responsibly caught fish with full provenance and traceability.
Last month, it became the first fish and seafood provider to offer its customers ‘catch of the day' messages via MMS, e-mail and Twitter that includes a ‘click to call' action that allows caterers to order fresh fish as it arrives in port anywhere in the country.