Tag Archives: fish

How to buy sustainable seafood in Australia

A nice video showing a sustainable way to catch fish in Moreton Bay, Queensland, Australia
According to the “Shop Ethical” guide:
Demand for seafood has doubled over the past 30 years; three-quarters of the world’s oceans are now fished right up to their limit. Often we’re eating rare or endangered ocean species without realising it. This includes shark, commonly sold as ‘flake’ in fish and chip shops; and species such as orange roughy, bluefin tuna, swordfish, and toothfish. ‘Bycatch’ – fish caught unintentionally – often sees up to 15 tonnes of discarded fish per tonne of targeted seafood.

When buying sustainable seafood you want to ask a few questions:

  1. Buy local. Ask where it’s from and if it’s imported ask for certified sustainable seafood.
  2. Consult a seafood guide. Use the the Australia’s Sustainable Seafood Guide or app to choose a fish that has been sustainably caught and managed. For the best choice in tuna consult the Greenpeace canned tuna guide.
  3. Look for certified products from the Marine Stewardship Council (see below).

msc1

Good swaps

If you consult your Australia’s Sustainable Seafood Guide, you’ll want to choose fish which are ranked “Green – Better choice”, such as Australian Bonito, Bream, Luderick, mullet, tailor and whiting.

Here are some of the more popular fish with their green – better choices:

  • Calamari – choose Squid, calamari, cuttlefish and octopus 
  • Crab - Blue Swimmer (Sand) crab, Mud crab
  • Mussels - Blue Mussels, also better choice is Green Mussel imported from New Zealand
  • Salmon - Imported canned salmon, predominantly Sockeye (Red) and Pink Salmon
  • Tuna - Australian Bonito, Better choice: troll or poll and line caught Albacore Tuna and Skipjack Tuna

Seafood guides

For choosing a sustainable fish consult one of the following resources:

Ten ways supermarkets in Australia can be more sustainable

Sunday 2 September 2012

Chief Executive Officer
Supermarket Chain
Australia

CC: Marketing Manager

Dear Sir/Madam,

I would love to see Australia lead the world in responsible food management and sustainable practices.

I would love to see my local supermarket follow these practices:

  1. All eggs to be free-range (like Sainsbury’s) – and battery cages banned in the EU.
  2. All pork and bacon to be free-range.
  3. Support grass-fed and organic certified butcher products.
  4. Support sustainable seafood which have been certified against the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) standard for sustainable and well-managed fisheries.
  5. Support our dairy farmers with fair prices for milk.
  6. Purchase fair trade coffee, chocolate, tea and sugar.
  7. Ban products containing palm oil* – until they are certified by the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO).
  8. Paper products to be recycled where possible (particularly for toilet paper and kitchen paper). Swap from plastic bags to starch-based 100% compostable bags (like Flannerys) or paper bags.
  9. Go BPA free (like Flannerys).
  10. Compulsory labeling of genetically modified food products, so people can choose to go GM-free.

Warm regards,

Gustoso

Notes:

* Palm oil is often listed as ‘vegetable oil’ on a product’s ingredients list. If the product can sit on your shelf for many months then your vegetable oil is probably heated to a high temperature and is damaged. This is known as a trans-fat and should be avoided.

Getting started in aquaponics

Aquaponics is a nature-based system and can loosely be described as the combination of aquaculture and hydroponics. Aquaculture is fish keeping and hydroponics is the growing of plants in a soil-less medium.
- Faye Arcaro and Joel Malcolm

As I started to read about aquaponics I quickly became overwhelmed -  it’s like a completely different way of gardening and seems terribly expensive to set up. I’m not entirely sold on the idea of eating food grown in water. It seems too artificial for me.  What about all the trace elements?

Ideal fish in Australia for an aquaponics system include Barramundi, Catfish, Jade Perch, Murray Cod, Silver Perch and Trout.

Anyhow, here are some of the great resources I discovered….

Books and dvds

Supplies

Resources

Are you sold on aquaponics?

Dangerous levels of mercury in tuna

This is a great video that explains the process of biomagnification (he calls it biological magnification), and why if you eat fish choose the smaller varieties.

Fish that contain higher levels of mercury include:

  • barramundi
  • gemfish
  • ling
  • marlin
  • orange roughy (deep sea perch)
  • ray
  • shark (flake)
  • southern bluefin tuna and tuna
  • swordfish

Book review: Australia’s Sustainable Seafood Guide

amcs-seafood-guide

The Australian Marine Conservation Society has released a handy little booklet on choosing seafood wisely called ‘Australia’s Sustainable Seafood Guide‘. Sustainably sourced fish allow the species to repopulate and live a good life. It is a beautifully illustrated and informative guide.

Here’s a quick run down of your options:

The best choices

  • Blue swimmer crab, sand crab
  • Calamari, squid, octopus, cuttlefish
  • Mussels, blue mussels
  • Oysters, native, Sydney rock and Pacific oysters
  • Salmon
  • Sardine, pilchard
  • Trevally, black, giant, golden, bluefin and bluespotted trevally
  • Whiting, trumpeter, stout, sand, eastern school, western school, king george whiting

Think twice – heavily targeted or caught using fishing methods that damage natural habitat

  • Basa, Pacific dory, mekong catfish
  • Barramundi, barra
  • Blue-eye trevalla, blue-eye cod
  • Flathead, Bluespotted, dusky, tiger and southern sand flathead
  • Nile perch, Lake Victoria perch
  • Ocean perch, blue-eye, reef ocean perch
  • Prawns, banana, king and tiger prawns

Say no – over-fished, threatened or vulnerable

  • Atlantic salmon, Tasmanian, Smoked salmon
  • Blue Grenadier, Hoki
  • Blue Warehou, Black travally, sea bream
  • Gemfish, hake
  • Hake, Cape hake, Pacific hake, South Atlantic hake,
  • Orange roughy, deep sea perch
  • Shark, flake
  • Southern Bluefin tuna, tuna
  • Tuna, Skipjack, albacore, yellowfin tuna

You can download a free copy of the mini sustainable seafood guide (PDF) on the Sustainable Seafood website.

100 recipes: Tuna

Best recipe
Seared tuna steak - Lynne Mullins

About

Tuna is one of the most popular fish varieties, so it’s important that you buy from a sustainable source so that stock can be replenished. Also look for dolphin friendly.

If you consult your Australia’s Sustainable Seafood Guide, you’ll want to choose fish which are ranked “Green – Better choice”, such as Australian Bonito, troll or line caught Albacore Tuna and Skipjake Tuna. Bigeye Tuna, Southern Bluefin Tuna, Yellowfin tuna, and many imported canned tuna are on the “Red – no” rank.

For choosing sustainable seafood:

 

Multimedia

Variations

About | 100 Recipes | Outtakes

100 recipes: Mussels

Best recipe
Moules marinière with cream, garlic and parsley – Rick Stein

About

French: Moules marinières

Moules marinières is mussels cooked with white wine and herbs. It is traditionally from Brittany, France. A few years ago, a survey found that the average French person’s favourite dish was moules marinières.

When purchasing fresh mussels look for ones with firmly shut shells, and pry them open (if needed) with a knife before you serve them.

Julia Child recommends serving mussels with French bread and a light, dry white wine.

If you consult your Australia’s Sustainable Seafood Guide, you’ll want to choose seafood which are ranked “Green – Better choice”, such as Blue Mussels, and also a better choice are Green Mussels imported from New Zealand.

For choosing sustainable seafood:

Multimedia

Variations

About | 100 Recipes | Outtakes

100 recipes: Fish pie

Best recipe
Fish pie – J.Sheeky restaurant, from Cook: A Year in the Kitchen with Britain’s Best Chefs by Rebecca Seal

About

The best fish pie recipe is by J. Sheekey restaurant, as featured in The Observer’s Top 50 favourite recipes. Sophie Conran’s recipe for the perfect haddock and cod pie was listed as the perfect fish pie recipe in The Observer’s How to make the perfect…. article, and features in her Pies cookbook.

If you consult your Australia’s Sustainable Seafood Guide, you’ll want to choose fish which are ranked “Green – Better choice”, such as Australian Bonito, Bream, Luderick, mullet, tailor and whiting.

For choosing a sustainable fish:

Multimedia

Variations

About | 100 Recipes | Outtakes

100 recipes: Fish cakes

Best recipe
Salmon fishcakes with sorrel sauce – Mark Hix

About

Aim for light and fluffy insides with a crisp and crunchy coating. They are a good way to use up leftover mashed potato.

The best fish cakes recipe is for The Ivy’s salmon fish cakes with sorrel sauce, as feature in The Observer’s Top 50 favourite recipes. Jill Dupleix also recommends Gary Rhodes’ recipe for salmon fishcakes.

Serve with a green salad and tartare sauce.

If you consult your Australia’s Sustainable Seafood Guide, you’ll want to choose fish which are ranked “Green – Better choice”, such as Australian Bonito, Bream, Luderick, mullet, tailor and whiting.

For choosing a sustainable fish:

Variations

About | 100 Recipes | Outtakes

100 recipes: Fish and chips

Best recipe
Fish and chips and mushy peas – Heston Blumenthal

About

The best fish and chips recipe nominated by Tom Conran is by Susan Campbell and Caroline Conran for fish and chips from their ‘Family Cook’ cookbook , as featured in The Observer’s Top 50 favourite recipes.

Home cooked fish and chips are so much nicer and healthier than the ones bought from the corner grease up shop. They’ll provide you with a ridiculous amounts of chips that are copiously seasoned with salt.

The secret to good chips is that they are cooked twice at a precise temperature.

The trick with beer batter is much like that used with tempura batter: it needs to be cold. Make sure your beer is chilled.

If you consult your Australia’s Sustainable Seafood Guide, you’ll want to choose fish which are ranked “Green – Better choice”, such as Australian Bonito, Bream, Luderick, mullet, tailor and whiting.

For choosing sustainable seafood:

Multimedia

Variations

About | 100 Recipes | Outtakes