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:

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: 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

Restaurant review: South Bank Surf Club

southbank_surfclub_fishnchips

It was a little strange to walk through the French Festival and not sample any of the food, but we were on our way to the South Bank Surf Club for lunch.

It was an obvious choice, but we both ended up ordering the Surf Club Fish and Chips. The service was friendly and excellent, and our food arrived quickly in clam shaped dishes. My Mulloway fillets had a good beer batter, although it was just starting to go brown. The fish inside was cooked to perfection. The tartar sauce was on the mild side, but moorish nevertheless. Big M said the meal was let down by run-of-the-mill chips, and thought it could be improved with homemade ones.

The décor was clean and modern, and I love their motto of “life savour”. It would be good if they had their own toilets rather than using the communal Southbank ones. We were surprised to see a busy Ben O’Donoghue in the kitchen.

southbank_surfclub_choconemesis

I ordered the infamous chocolate nemesis for dessert. A decadent mousse-like cake invented by the River Café – even the crème fraiche wasn’t enough to cut through the richness and bitterness of the chocolate (and I’m a self-confessed dark chocoholic). It was still an guilty enjoyable treat.

My peppermint tea came with an unusual strainer, and we couldn’t work out how to use it!

Let’s hope the Surf Club will revitalise the Southbank dining scene – with a few little tweaks, I’m confident it will become a firm favourite with the locals in the nearby high rises and throughout Brisbane.

South Bank Surf Club
30aa Stanley Plaza
Parklands, South Brisbane 4101
Phone: 07 3844 7301
http://www.southbanksurfclub.com.au/
@SthBankSouthClub

South Bank Surf Club on Urbanspoon

Salmon and potato salad (Russian)

Salmon and Potato Salad

Cooked for the Russian entry of the Euro Cup and Plate challenge.

If you consult your Australia’s Sustainable Seafood Guide, you’ll want to choose fish which are ranked “Green – Better choice”, such as imported canned salmon, predominantly Sockeye (Red) and Pink Salmon. Coral trout are on the “Amber – think twice” rank, and Atlantic Salmon, cod and ocean trout are on the “Red – no” rank.

For choosing sustainable seafood:

Salmon and potato salad recipe (Russian)

2 organic, free-range eggs
3-4 boiled potatoes, peeled and cubed
2 tbsp olive oil
1 large red onion, chopped
1 fillet salmon
150ml white wine
50ml mayonnaise
2 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped

  1. Place eggs in a saucepan and cover with boiling water. Bring water to the boil and immediately remove from the heat. Cover and let eggs stand in hot water for 10 to 12 minutes. Remove eggs from the water, cool and peel.
  2. While the eggs are cooking, place potatoes in a saucepan with just enough water to cover. Bring to the boil, and cook for 10 to 15 minutes, or until tender. Remove from the heat, drain and set aside.
  3. Heat half the oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Brown the onions. Remove from the pan.
  4. Heat the other half of the oil in the same frying pan and sear the salmon both sides quickly over high heat.
  5. Turn down the heat and add the white wine. Simmer for 8 minutes.
  6. Flake salmon and spread it over the bottom of the serving dish. Spread the onions over the top, then drizzle over some mayonnaise. Top with potatoes, and a little more mayonnaise. Finally slice the eggs, and place on top. Drizzle with mayonnaise and garnish with the parsley.
  7. Chill for an hour before serving.

Serves 2.

TIP – You could use tinned new potatoes to make it quicker and diabetes friendly.