It is an easy to use quick guide to choosing sustainable seafood. It categorises seafood into:
Red = Say no
Orange = Think twice
Green = Better choice
As I suspected, some of my past seafood choices were ‘say no’ or ‘think twice’ choices, including Tuna, Barramundi and Prawns. I love that the guide tells me why they are not sustainable choices. For example, for prawns, high levels of bycatch is the main concern, with bycatch being as high as 10-20kg for every 1 kg of prawns caught! The guide also goes on to explain each fishing method, or fishing gear type.
I went to the local seafood co-op armed with the guide. Buying from a cooperative rather than a supermarket or regular fish shop has the advantage that there is no middle-man and all profits go direct to the fishermen. My objective was to choose a reasonably priced sustainable seafood. I chose local Sea Mullet. I was surprised by its reasonable price of only $9.90kg, so asked the fishmonger whether it was good eating. He said it is at this time of year because it is caught out in the ocean. Apparently at other times of the year when it is caught from the estuaries it is not so nice. It is best to avoid this fish at those times anyway, as the Bycatch associated with gillnetting mullet in estuaries is of concern. I bought five good sized fillets. On my way to the cash register I realised it was only $5! I needed to use eftpost so to reach the $10 minimum I chose another green choice: Flathead. I got a whole Flathead, 5 Mullet fillets and 3 lemons – all for under $11!
I was inspired by this recipe to pan fry the flathead with lemon and lemon grass. For the Mullet, this recipe inspired me to pan fry the fillets with onion, olives, lime, moroccan spice, and parsley. Served with home grown mustard greens (unfortunately the tomatoes were supermarket bought and probably not even local!) with a dressing made from locally grown and made Rasberry Vinegar (Yum!). It tasted much better than it looks.
Both fish recipes were very quick, easy and tasty. My favourite was the Mullet whilst Daddy Eco prefered the Flat Head. Little Eco was not fussed and loved both.
Finishing off with something funny.... I showed Little Eco the fish and she pointed to the headless flathead and said “neck bit sore”. That’s an understatement!