MCTC launches campaign to boost environment by using ‘invasive species’ in recipes


Leading catering management provider MCTC has demonstrated its commitment to sustainability by launching a new campaign to help boost the environment by encouraging vessels to use ‘invasive species’ in their recipes – on the principle ‘eat them to beat them’.

To celebrate the launch of the campaign, MCTC’s experienced chefs and Mr Jogvan Trondessen Andreasen, TORM’s Senior Catering Manager, held a live cooking demonstration in Limassol, Cyprus, showing how to a safely prepare lionfish and create tasty and healthy recipes using the fish.

The species is fast spreading through the Mediterranean Sea, Gulf of Mexico, and the Caribbean Sea. It is believed the red lionfish is drastically changing and disrupting the food chains holding the marine ecosystems together, due to its high population and the species being largely inedible to most other fish.

MCTC now plans to work with local suppliers to support the ‘invasive species’ already identified in the market and supply them to vessels. Its culinary consultants will then work with their galley crews to help them prepare tasty and healthy meals using the fish.

Charalampos Antoniou, Environmental and Supplier Officer at MCTC, said: “At MCTC we aim to educate and to provide an insight to the invasive species problem by emphasising how we can introduce safe to eat invasive species in our daily menus.

“Our experienced culinary training team has been busy preparing recipes with the invasive species as the main ingredient, which can be locally sourced. This initiative will contribute towards saving the marine environment and will increase our cooks’ knowledge and awareness of the marine environment.”

An ‘invasive species’ is described as a non-native organism, introduced by humans in a particular area that did not pre-exist, causing habitat degradation and biodiversity loss. Invasive species can disrupt the natural selection process by altering the population dynamics of other native species. They have the potential to cause harm to the environment, the economy and to human health, says Mr Antoniou.

The invasive Asian Carp is another example of an invasive species. It has been causing problems in the USA after it was initially introduced in the Mississippi River in the 70s for controlling Algal Blooms. Since then, it has been making its way up the Mississippi River, disrupting the ecology and food webs.

International company MCTC provides the full spectrum of catering management services to vessels, from recipe planning, ordering provisions, and budgeting, along with a range of catering and nutrition courses for galley staff.

CEO of MCTC, Christian Ioannou said: “At MCTC we always ensure that our actions and processes do not overburden the environment and we strive to increase the sustainability performance not just of our company but the whole maritime catering sector. I am delighted to launch this campaign, aiming to educate and share information to our clients on how we can control the population of invasive species by introducing them into our daily menus and contribute towards the preservation of the natural environment.”