Top table place for humble fish supper

A CELEBRATORY dinner will be held in Aberdeen tonight to mark the 150th anniversary of one of Britain's greatest institutions – the fish supper.

The meal, which gained popularity in Victorian times, weathered wartime rationing and still rates as a national favourite. It is now at the centre of an industry which supports 10,000 fish and chip shops, employs 61,000 people and contributes 1.2billion to the economy.

Tonight's celebratory dinner at the Ashvale fish restaurant has been organised by the Scottish Seafood Training Association.

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Fisheries minister Richard Lochhead, who will be attending the event, said: "The importance of fishing to Scotland's social life stretches from the boat to the plate. Some of the best fish in the world comes from Scottish waters, and it is no surprise haddock is the favourite fish choice in Scotland.

"North Sea haddock is the mainstay of the Scottish whitefish fleet and has been managed under a long-term management plan since 1999. This plan is designed to provide a sustainable fishery and high yield.

"The result has been positive. The stock is currently fished sustainably. And once the fish is caught, processed and cooked, Scotland is still at the top of the industry. Scottish fryers have won the Fish and Chip Shop of the Year competition for the past three years."

Mr Lochhead added: "Fish and chips is still going strong 150 years on, and within the balance of a healthy diet and activity, there is still a place for the occasional takeaway that uses simple ingredients so well."