The Ethical Shellfish Company

The Ethical Shellfish Company

PRODUCER: The Ethical Shellfish Company, Isle of Mull, Argyle
PRODUCT: Hand-dived king scallops
REGION: Scotland
CATEGORY: From the Sea (Primary)


Established in 2010, The Ethical Shellfish Company is a family firm dedicated to sustainable fishing. To ensure watertight provenance, each king scallop they sell is picked by hand from the seabed by one of the company’s divers, who operate from their low-fuel boat ‘Helanda’.

Operating from their base on the Isle of Mull in the Inner Hebrides, the company aim to prove that a successful fishing business can operate sustainably, while encouraging customers to demand higher environmental standards. All The Ethical Shellfish Company’s scallops are caught to order, resulting in zero waste catch and no damage to the marine environment. Following a strict grading process, smaller specimens are returned to areas of high tidal flow and away from dredgers, effectively creating high fertility areas where scallops can thrive.

The scallops are delivered live to top chefs across the country, typically less than 24 hours after being landed, and the team are proud to be told by many customers that they are the freshest they’ve ever seen.

When the company works with other fishermen, their catch must be hand-dived, creel-caught, hand-gathered or line-caught in order to be sold by the Ethical Shellfish Company. The business is also currently establishing a fund to assist coastal communities in improving sea habitats. In their words, “We regard our fishing license as the key to a secret garden. When we reach for the apples we will not trample the flowers beneath.”


The delicious. judging panel in Scotland described the Ethical Shellfish Company as “passionate, zealous and committed to excellence” and praised their caught-to-order practice as a “brilliant but sadly unusual concept”.  


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