Bycatch to Byproduct – Under utilised fish species

 In Sustainability, Sustainable, Sustainable seafood

One of the best ways to be sustainable is to take the pressure off the popular fish species on restaurant menus

Under utilised fish once bycatch is now becoming byproduct thanks to master fishmonger Jules Crocker of Joto Fresh Fish and Cleanfish Australia. Jules has helped concerned fisherman find a solution for the non-targetted fish species that end up in their nets despite every effort to minimise their bycatch when fishing for their targetted species. Jules has taken these under utilised species to the top chefs in Sydney to taste and trial with fantastic results.

Fish & Co, along with Red Lantern on Riley, Bishop Sessa, The Bucket List at Bondi, Glass Brasserie, Sails on Lavender Bay, Bar H, Movida Sydney, Four in Hand, La Scala on Jersey, Vine Double Bay, have committed to buy and promote these ridiculously tasty lesser known species.

It has been made viable, due to the buying comittment of Fish & Co and other restaurants, for the fisherman to retain these lesser known alternative fish species, knowing that there is now a guaranteed market for them.

Other under utilised species that will be claiming their rightful place on Fish & Co’s menu will include; Bigeye, Rosy Threadfin, Javelin, Red Mullet, Frypan Bream, Silver Trevally (small),  Tropical Snapper, Pearl Perch (small) and Mangrove Jack.

So far at Fish & Co we have served Bigeye (Red Bullseye) and Javelin as our ‘fish of the day’ and the response from our customers has been only positive. These are truly tasty fish and it makes you wonder why the heck they were being discarded for so long! That’s another story in itself, but thanks to Jules Crocker we are now becoming more aware of the lesser known fish species and armed with this information and education we can continue to make sustainable seafood choices.

 

Bycatch

the discards plus any organisms that are not retained

Byproduct

the retained non-target catch, which is destined for sale

 

Remote geographical location, fishing cycle, physical appearance of some of the species and fish names such as Lizard fish, Red Bullseye and Javelin are only some of the challenges the fishers face when trying to move the lesser known species. On the plus side of the ledger, the fish we tested are all delicious and of the seven species trialled, six were signed off unanimously by a group of Sydney chefs. As the fishery moves toward the MSC program the hope is that it can make better use of these fish.

Cleanfish Australia is working with a number of Sydney chefs and restaurants (see the list below ) to create awareness about and market these lesser known species. The first restaurants involved in the program have put up their collective hand making a pre-commitment to the fishery to take a shipment of fish from every unload as it happens. Cleanfish Australia is looking to roll out the program in early 2015 to other capital cities to give the lesser known species greater exposure to market. The operators of the fishery, MG Kailis based in Perth are also seeking to develop other markets for the fish.

Look out for The Good Fish range of under utilised Pilbara fish on restaurant menus this summer and give them a go!

To find out more about the program and The Good Fish Range visit

Cleanfishaustralia.com.au/sustainability

 

 

 

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