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Relais & Châteaux launches an #SOSforBiodiversity to Save Ocean Species

Relais & Châteaux launches an #SOSforBiodiversity to Save Ocean Species

Committed to the preservation of marine resources since 2009 alongside Ethic Ocean, the Relais & Châteaux Association has once again joined forces with the NGO by launching a new awareness campaign. The objective? To remove all overexploited species of seafood from Relais & Châteaux menus, starting with eel, and to prioritize sustainable species.

For the ninth consecutive year, Relais & Châteaux celebrated World Oceans Day on June 8th with the collective appeal #SOSforBiodiversity. The not-for-profit Association has invited chefs to adapt their menus by removing overexploited species, such as eel, and selecting sustainable seafood. To raise awareness of this issue, Relais & Châteaux is highlighting the efforts of four chefs who embody this initiative.

Mauro Colagreco (Mirazur, Menton, France), Vice President, Chefs of Relais & Châteaux, highlighted: “As an Association, we can have a major influence on global culinary culture. It is urgent and vital to serve guests species which are not overfished, or which have been responsibly farmed with respect to the environment, the animals and the people involved.”

#SOSforBiodiversity has been created to complement Ethic Ocean’s #EelNoThankYou campaign, which Relais & Châteaux joined at the end of 2023, when it mobilized its chefs around the world to save endangered eel species globally.

Chefs who set the tone


Pedro Subijana of Relais & Châteaux Akelarre (San Sebastian, Spain) and elected member of Relais & Châteaux’s World Culinary Council: “Typical Spanish dishes–such as those with elvers (juvenile eel) –are very important to our culture and heritage. But responsibility must go hand-in-hand with tradition. We must all pause serving and eating eel now to preserve it for future generations.”

Vicky Lau of Relais & Châteaux Tate Dining Room (Hong Kong) and elected member of Relais & Châteaux’s World Culinary Council: “Many people think farmed eel is different from wild eel, when, in fact, wild juvenile eels are caught and then taken to be grown on farms. With the critical status of eels all over the world, this form of aquaculture can’t be considered sustainable.”

David Toutain of Relais & Châteaux Restaurant David Toutain (Paris, France): “Our iconic dish has been eel since we opened the restaurant in 2013, but now we’ve replaced it with smoked herring. Fishing and all other causes of the European eel’s decline are issues that we need to be aware of in order to take action.”

Michael Cimarusti of Relais & Châteaux Providence (Los Angeles, California, USA): “Eel is something that we have had on the menu from time to time at Providence but being a member of Relais & Châteaux and understanding the importance of protecting any species that’s endangered, we signed the pledge and decided to stop serving eel. Wild harvested eels are red listed pretty much all over the world.”

Beyond eel, the ambition to ban all Red-Listed species

The figures are relentless: 35.4% of marine resources are overfished; illegal fishing represents 20% of global catch (between 11 and 26 million tons per year); and 35% of the world’s catch is rejected and released, often resulting in the animals’ death, without even being consumed. (Source: FAO)

In partnership with Ethic Ocean, Relais & Châteaux empowers its chefs to verify that their species choices are responsibly-sourced. This commitment to sustainable seafood goes beyond eel and covers all aquatic species, whether wild and farmed.