Best fish guide (plus recipe)
Oops, there goes the whitebait (unless you’ve caught it yourself) and that tasty hapuku (groper). Both are in the red “worst choice” category in 2017’s Best Fish Guide, just released by Forest and Bird.
The new guide comes as an app and website which ranks the sustainability of more than 117 commercially harvested New Zealand seafood varieties. Compiled by marine scientists, it takes into account fish stocks, by-catches of other species and the impact on marine habitats and this year also includes additional choices such as freshwater species like whitebait and eels.
While Forest and Bird says that 75 of New Zealand’s fish are in the red for certain types of fishing, it’s good news for 42 which are farmed or fished sustainably. (Many species have more than one ranking, depending upon where and how they are caught.)
Using a traffic light system, 13 fish options are caught more sustainably than they were in 2013 and those moving up into the green include cockles, skipjack tuna and (depending upon where they are caught) rock lobster/crayfish.
Next time you are at the supermarket thinking fish for dinner, give yourself a pat on the back if you pick up one of these nine “great to eat” choices: salmon, mussels, oysters and paua (all farmed), albacore and skipjack tuna, crayfish, cockles and pilchards.
Some of the country’s chefs are also helping spread the word, providing recipes for the app. Shaun Clouston from Wellington’s Logan Brown shares his barbecue masala kahawai recipe here. That's his dish photographed above.
The Best Fish Guide can be downloaded here or from the iOS and android app stores.
For more recipes using sustainable seafood, see our collection.