Sourcing Sustainable Fish for Halal Markets

A cornerstone of the average Dawoodi Bohra diet is the presence of halal meat. In the UK, there is no shortage of halal poultry, lamb, and beef in mainstream grocery stores – like Asda, Tesco, and Sainsburys. However, due to the more strict requirements of fish needing to be caught in a particular way for Dawoodi Bohra muslims, halal fish is not as easy to find.

In November 2011, Hatim Ameen of Manchester and Aziz Sulemanji of Leicester decided to find a way to introduce more halal fish as an affordable, ethical, and convenient option for Dawoodi Bohras across the UK.  They discovered an independent, owner-operated salmon farm in Scotland. The farm breeds salmon for two to three years and, once they reach the requisite size of three to six kilograms in size, they are ready for harvesting.  Hatim and Aziz are present when the fish are taken from the water, before they are sent for processing and local distribution.

For Dawoodi Bohras, not only is eating a well-balanced meal important, but so too is ensuring that their food is being derived from ethical and sustainable sources. The salmon grown at the fishery – which eventually make their way to many Dawoodi Bohra households in the UK and USA through Hatim and Aziz – are bred in one of the only farms in Scotland where everything is done by hand and manual labour. The fish are monitored, fed, and looked after without the use of machines. The fish are also bred without the use of pesticides and with fully organic feed. Due to the custom feed, the salmon bred at this fishery have one of the world’s best FIFO (fish in, fish out) ratios of less than 1:1, which greatly reduces the dependency in the Northern Atlantic on wild fish.

The Dawoodi Bohras of the UK are proud to be teaming up with a sustainable salmon farm to not only help the community gain access to halal salmon, but to also help the wider aquatic environment in the age of climate change and other severe environmental challenges.

Photo credits: Ali Sulemanji Photography

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