Your guide to sustainable seafood restaurants in Monaco

sustainable fish seafood monaco

Monaco Life scouts out the Principality’s best sustainable seafood restaurants ahead of the 2023 Monaco Ocean Week.

The Principality is something of a pioneer regarding protections of local fish stocks. The last two decades have seen it champion numerous maritime reserve projects, like the Pelagos Sanctuary and RAMOGE Agreement, and Prince Albert II himself implemented a ban on the fishing, sale and consumption of blue fin tuna during the 2000s. This still stands and, following the adoption of the rules elsewhere in the Riviera, stocks of this mighty fish are on their way to recovery.  

Another key aspect of sustainable fishing in the region is Mr. Goodfish. This might sound like a light-hearted name, but in fact the scheme has a very solid motive: to promote the sustainable consumption of seafood products. Many Monaco restaurants have signed up to the initiative and the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation is actually the official coordinator of Mr. Goodfish in this part of the Mediterranean, so let’s introduce some of our favourites who appreciate its objectives. 

High-end sustainability 

We can’t talk about top quality food in Monaco without featuring Yannick Alléno’s Pavyllon at the Hôtel Hermitage, and thankfully this excellent Michelin-starred restaurant is a fellow Mr. Goodfish subscriber. Alléno describes his restaurant as “fine dining without the formality” and “serious food that doesn’t take itself too seriously”, but the standard of dishes here is almost without parallel in the Principality. All seafood, from the sea bass in his signature aiguillettes to the wood-fired blue lobster with ginger-infused butter, is sustainably sourced under the Mr. Goodfish agreement.  

“Fine dining without the formality” at Yannick Alléno’s Pavyllon Monte-Carlo. Photo: SBM

Down at the waterfront of the famous port is the Yacht Club de Monaco. It’ll come as no surprise that this eco-aware establishment – the stage for many an innovative conference and competition – is also signed up to Mr. Goodfish. Le 1909, the restaurant, and Le Sunrise, the buffet-style lunch hotspot, both serve sustainably caught fish and seafood, and their menus change frequently to reflect the seasons. 

Now if there’s one place in Monaco synonymous with respectfully sourced ingredients, then it’s Elsa at Monte-Carlo Beach. This fully certified organic eatery on the seafront – the first ever restaurant to receive the Ecocert label for its organic produce and wild-caught seafood – selects its range of fish and seafood “with consideration for the environment and animal welfare”. Seasonality is important here and Chef Mélanie Serre’s menu reflects that. Red mullet, Scorpionfish fricassée and sea bream ceviche are just some of the delights that await dinners when the restaurant reopens on 7th April. 

Mélanie Serre’s Mediterranean red mullet with gnocchi, rocket and black garlic. Photo: SBM

Sushi: the purest appreciation for fine seafood 

The Hôtel Métropole is a major supporter of green initiatives, including the Mr. Goodfish programme that it joined in 2015. Each of its restaurants – the Odyssey, Lobby Bar & Lounge and Yoshi – is affiliated with the scheme, but if you’re yet to try Chef Takeo Yamazaki’s Yoshi, then let this be your impetus. This Michelin-starred restaurant takes a creative approach to a traditional cuisine, and the menus come in at a variety of price points, allowing almost everyone to sample the Tokyo native’s exceptional style. Ghindara, his 72-hour marinated black cod, is a must-try.  

The weekday lunch menu at Izakaya Cozza ranges from €28 to €39, and this bright and inviting restaurant down on Rue du Portier offers everything a sushi lover needs for a good meal. Sustainably caught fish features heavily, from that Riviera favourite of gamberoni to salmon and tuna tartares.  


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At the other end of Monaco is the Giraudi Group’s Moshi Moshi, which sits on the edge of the marina in Fontvieille. March’s seasonal suggestions include yellowtail carpaccio with a citrus-miso vinaigrette and toro tuna sashimi with a pastis-miso dressing, tarragon and caviar. The sushi lunch menu starts at €25 and its signature Moshi Moshi rolls begin at €19.  

Monaco’s traders make a name for themselves 

Maison Mer is the Marché de la Condamine’s flagship seafood supplier. Rémy Rinaldi and Ricardo da Silva Alves opened up shop a year ago and offer a 100% homemade menu that highlights the locally caught fish of the region. Their dishes change every day according to the landing of fish, but patrons can expect a wide array of tasty plates from salads to sandwiches and Poke bowls to deep-fried fritters.  

Although not strictly a market seller, Les Perles de Monte-Carlo runs a fully-fledged oyster farm alongside its restaurant in Fontvieille, giving it a status that no other eatery in Monaco can claim. Les Perles began as a farm, situated off the coast of the Oceanographic Museum, but its Brittany-born owners later decided to open a restaurant as a sideline. The eatery serves up a decadent range, including their own oysters, of course, but also sea urchins, langoustines, Breton lobster, clams, sea bream and sea bass, and many, many more sustainable seafood staples.  


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 Photo source: SBM

Monaco bounces back from pandemic years with strong economic growth

In the post-Covid era, Monaco’s economy is showing positive signs all-round, according to a new quarterly report put out by IMSEE. 

Monaco’s statistical agency IMSEE has posted an overwhelming positive economic report for the last quarter of 2022. Nearly all sectors showed growth on the previous year, and in some cases, have surpassed pre-Covid levels.  


Starting with foreign trade, both imports and exports were up by 18%, driven notably by wholesale trade, reaching €3.5 billion. Whilst slightly lower than the 2019 figure of €2.7 billion, it nonetheless is a strong outcome.  

The slight discrepancy stems from lower overall imports, but this is made up by exports, which surpassed levels from before the pandemic. This imbalance has made the trade deficit widen to €773.7 million, but transactions with the European Union are growing, up to 54.8% over 54.2% in 2021. Nearly two thirds of Monaco’s export trade is with the bloc, with just under half of imports coming from the EU. 

Italy was the Principality’s leading trade partner in 2022, excluding France, consisting of 22.6% of trade, with Germany coming in at 12.3% and the United Kingdom at 10%. The latter two countries have seen significantly increased trade volumes with Monaco in 2022, up 40.9% and 59.2% respectively.  


Revenues for the fourth quarter of 2022 topped €18.8 billion, up by €2.5 billion on the year before, rising 15%. All major economic sectors concerned have surpassed pre-pandemic levels. 

Wholesale trade accounts for much of the increase, up 12.8% at €670 million. This sector includes sales of machinery, industrial equipment, ships and aircraft. Scientific and technical sectors also showed big growth, up by €442 million and travel activities have bounced back as well, seeing revenue more than triple over 2021 to €166.5 million. Accommodation and food services also have normalised, reaching pre-crisis levels and are up €288.4 million on 2021. 


Figured are a bit mixed in the finance sector, with bank assets down by -4.5%, loans granted up by 1.8%, and deposits significantly up by 7.4%. With an inflow of assets approaching €1 billion, it is strong, but down -0.4% due mainly to market and exchange rate effects.  


Monaco had 60,082 private sector jobs on the books at the end of 2022. Salaried employment jumped by 5.4%, meaning 3,083 additional jobs. All sectors saw increases last year, except some service activities, which saw a slight decrease. Administration, education, and health and social work posts remained stable.  


This area is down, with 837 new businesses created versus 877 in 2021, with SARLs, SAMs, sole traders and foreign companies down 20%. Conversely, closures were down nearly 10%, with 429 compared to 476 in 2021.  


Hotel occupancy rates are up on 2021, with an increase of 31.9%, and the average length of stay also rose by 11.7%. Cruise passenger numbers are still down on previously reported figures.  

Helicopter passenger traffic increased by 50.7% equating to 14,890 people, but is still slightly reduced compared to 2019 statistics. Commercial flight passengers are up by 59.7% and show positive movement.  


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Photo by Monaco Life

Tens of thousands of French children are on psychotropic drugs, says new study

psychotropic children france

A new report has disclosed a shocking revelation about the extent of psychotropic drug use among children in France. 

The report put out on 13th March by the High Council for the Family, Childhood and Age (HCFEA) has revealed how psychotropic drug use is becoming more and more common in children as young as six years old in France.  


An estimated 2.72% of young people under the age of 20 consumed hypnotics or anxiolylics in 2021: drugs with well-known brand names such as Xanax, Valium and Ativan that are commonly used to treat conditions such as anxiety, insomnia, and panic disorders. This is up from 2.01% in 2010.  

The consumption of antipsychotics, antidepressants, mood stabilisers and psychostimulants is also on the rise, though less than 1% of young people under the age of 20 are taking drugs from each of these categories.  

The percentages may seem nominal, but in real, human terms, this means that tens of thousands of children are regularly taking psychotropic drugs. 

The report, using figures from the National Health Insurance Fund and the National Agency for the Safety of Medicines and Health Products between 2010 and 2021, showed that paediatric consumption of antipsychotic drugs was up by 114%, 148% for psychostimulants, and 179% for antidepressants.  

“The figures have doubled between 2010 and 2021, and this places us among the most prescribing countries in Europe,” said the president of the Council for Childhood and Adolescence at HCFEA, Sylviane Giampino. 


The study also found that 40% of paediatric prescriptions made at doctor’s offices and between 67% and 94% of those issued in hospitals were made against recommendations for general usage, meaning drugs not specifically made to treat children.    

As doctors and caregivers are more stretched than ever, authorities worry that the risk of practices offering drugs in place of psychotherapeutic, educational and social aids, which are intended to give distressed children and their families support in time of crisis, will grow. This would lead to more children relying on these drugs, leaving them with possible long-term side effects. 


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Photo source: Miriam Zilles for Unsplash

The Monaco Life ski report

The region’s ski stations are winding down for the season, but there are still some excellent conditions to be enjoyed and further snowfall expected at some resorts.

Isola 2000 – There are currently 41 ski slopes and 15 ski lifts open in Isola 2000. Despite the end of the skiing season appearing on the horizon, there is still plenty of snow at Isola, and there is chance of further snowfall on Sunday and Monday. It will be largely cloudy over the weekend, with temperatures ranging from 9°C to -2°C. There are separate youth skiing tournaments taking place on Saturday and Sunday.

Auron – There are currently 27 ski pistes and 16 ski lifts open at the resort, considerably down on last week. Temperatures are expected to be higher relative to neighbouring resorts with highs of  11°C. Weather conditions throughout the weekend are expected to be mixed with sun, clouds and the potential for showers on Sunday. On Saturday, there is a skiing competition where competitors race in tandem, joined by a baton. The Elle & Lui Carving Cup involves teams composed of a male and female competitor. More information can be found on the Auron website. In terms of access, Route de la Bonette, Piste de la Moustière, Piste de Demandols and Route de la Lombarde are all closed for the winter season.

Valberg – There are 13 ski slopes and 10 ski lifts open. However, due to the lack of snow, the resort is set to close at the end of this weekend. Passes for these final days are free of charge.

Limone Piemonte – The Italian resort is reporting 21 open runs and 12 ski lifts. Passage through the Roya valley currently isn’t possible due to the collapsed bridge at Tende. The journey from Monaco is currently approximately three hours by car, although the train line is in operation.

Gréolières-les-Neiges – This popular family resort, which lies less than an hour from the coast, continues to struggle with poor snowfall due to its location at a lower altitude than other south of France ski stations. However, there are still six slopes that will be skiable this weekend, all of which are in close proximity to the village. It is expected to be largely sunny on Friday and Saturday, but there is a chance of some rain on Sunday.

Val d’Allos – The resort, which combines Allos, Seigneus and La Foux d’Allos as well as access to Pra-Loup, is starting to wind down, with 22 out of its 27 lifts in operation and 42 out of 64 pistes welcoming skiers, snowboarders and the rest. Temperatures fluctuate from 11°C to -2°C. Consistent with conditions throughout the region, it will be a mixed weekend of weather. A mixture of cloudy and sunny skies will give way to precipitation on Sunday, which could fall in the form of snow.

Note: Snow tyres or other suitable equipment must be used on the roads up to the ski resorts.


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Photo by Fun Radio Côte d’Azur/Facebook

Formula 1: Charles Leclerc handed grid penalty as rumours of Ferrari fractures swirl

Charles Leclerc has been handed a 10-place grid penalty for the upcoming Saudi Arabia Grand Prix, after a fortnight in which the Ferrari team have been unsettled by a swathe of troubling reports. 

Leclerc had looked to be on course for a podium in Bahrain just under two weeks ago, but a mechanical failure put pay to his chances of scoring any points in the curtain-raiser to the Formula 1 season.

Leclerc receives a 10-place grid penalty

That failure will prove yet more costly. Leclerc’s Ferrari is already on its third gearbox of a 23-race season, which is just one race old. As a car is only allowed to have one gearbox change in the whole season, Leclerc will therefore take a 10-place grid penalty for this weekend’s race in Saudi Arabia.

Ferrari’s new team principal, Frédéric Vasseur, expressed surprise at Ferrari’s gearbox issues, saying, “We never encountered these automatic gearbox issues in the factory.”

However, whilst trying to focus on improving the performance of a car that he rightly admits isn’t as fast as Red Bull’s, Vasseur has also been forced into addressing the media amidst rumours of fractures appearing at the Italian manufacturer.

“It all comes from unfounded rumours”

The French team principal, who previously worked with Leclerc at Sauber, first had to fend off rumours of a fractious relationship with President Benedetto Vigna.

“My relationship with Benedetto is transparent,” began Vasseur. “Everything is working perfectly between us and I have full freedom to work according to my wishes and the team’s needs. It all comes from unfounded rumours.”

Photo of Frédéric Vasseur, source Scuderia Ferrari Press Centre

In between these two races, David Sanchez, one of the engineers who worked on the SF-23 model, departed Ferrari. Despite his role being out of the public eye, Sanchez’s departure has sent shockwaves through the Italian press, especially since the information came at the same time as rumours of Laurent Mekiès’ potential departure emerged.

Mekiès’ departure would be a blow for Ferrari. He is appreciated by Vasseur, who described Mekiès as “a pillar of the team” upon his arrival as team principal at the start of the year.

A media circus?

Since the underwhelming performance in Bahrain, which nonetheless provided some crumbs of hope for the remainder of the season, there has been a relentless flow of destabilising information. Each day, a new story has hit the headlines.

Jean Todt, a former Ferrari team principal, revealed in an interview with L’Équipe earlier this month his shock at a Gazzetta dello Sport journalist, who “camped in front of the factory doors, morning day and night”.

Seemingly little has changed, and the intensity and virulence of the Italian press has certainly polluted the atmosphere at the team’s Maranello base and ultimately led to Vasseur addressing the press. However, despite having to get to grips with a new team, whilst also facing almost intolerable scrutiny and at times misinformation, Vasseur isn’t feeling the heat.

“I’m handling the pressure well. I’m used to it. What matters to me is ensuring that the employees don’t suffer and that they can work calmly. They’re really motivated and my job is to allow them to work in the best conditions possible,” said Vasseur.

The scrutiny of any Ferrari team principal is unrelenting, but criticism can certainly be dampened. The only way to achieve that is on-track. Ferrari, and in particular Leclerc, have their work cut out in Saudi Arabia with not only a faster competitor to compete with, but an unreliable car to contend with.

Given Leclerc’s grid penalty, Vasseur and Ferrari may have to tune out the media circus for a little longer, but as the team principal has said, their car provides “an excellent base to work from”, and the season is yet young. The points may not flow under the nightlights of Jeddah, but they will soon.


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Photo source: Scuderia Ferrari Press Centre

Undeclared cash earnings are costing France €7 billion a year

black money cash france

With two out of three of its self-employed workers pocketing “black money”, undeclared earnings could be costing France €7 billion per year.  

According to the French government, €14.6 billion in taxes were evaded in 2022. That’s an increase of 8.2% on the previous year and an estimated €7 billion has been attributed to the country’s self-employed, whose jobs make it easy to be paid “under the table”.  


The High Council for the Financing of Social Protection (HCFiPS) says the numbers from web-based platforms have revealed that two out of three self-employed auto-entrepreneurs in France don’t declare a portion of their earnings.  

The worst offenders are believed to be VTC drivers – taxi drivers, chauffeurs and the like – and it is estimated that 90% of workers in this sector fail to fully declare their income. Delivery drivers have a similar reputation: the HCFiPS says 73% could be getting away with earning more than they formally announce.  

Farmers, vineyard owners and market gardeners – given that agriculture is a historically cash-heavy industry – are also thought to under-declare by an estimated €500million. 

Finally, construction industry workers are also thought to be big “under declarers”, contributing to a loss of between €1 billion and €1.5 billion in social security contributions.  


This is infuriating to those who pay taxes, which are not insignificant in France. The minimum 20% tax rate is increased to 30% above a certain threshold of net taxable income, which is currently set at a rather low €27,478 for income received in 2022.  

Dominique Libault, HCFiPS President, says, “There is a real problem with auto-entrepreneurs and web platform workers. It is not just a problem with a lack of money for social security, but also the whole question of people undercutting other workers in the system who make proper declarations.” 


Private sector employers are believed to be dishing out between 2.2% and 2.7% in black money to workers. This equates to between €5.1 and €6.4 billion in social security contribution losses. When unpaid contributions to unemployment insurance are added in, the number is more like €7 billion. 

This has prompted the HCFiPS to start workplace inspections again, something suspended during the pandemic. Their biggest focus will be on the suspected biggest culprits, namely drivers, but will extend to all sectors.  

Additionally, a report by HCFiPS put out in February has stated they will focus on “the new challenges of control and the fight against fraud” in a three-pronged attack. First, they would like to give collection bodies the means to improve responses. Second, to clarify the control measures so that they are legal and fair, hopefully inducing non-payers to comply. Finally, they would like to make the consequences of failing to correctly declare stricter in order to deter such behaviour in the first place.  

There is much legal wrangling that will need to be done before concrete actions can happen, and the HCFiPS definitely has its work cut out if it is going to regain control of what appears to be a worsening situation.  


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Photo source: Unsplash