It’s been way too long since I wrote here.

Life has changed significantly and focus has shifted on food, wine,  the restaurant industry and my children more than ever before, it’s an exciting time, although now I am toying with the idea of a new blog so will certainly keep you posted on any changes or updates in the coming months.

My friend, John Ford, asked me to give a talk with him at the Sustainable Living Festival in February  this year. It was a great time and an honour to have Chris Smyth from the Australian Conservation Foundation (ACF), Oliver Edwards from GoodFishBadFish and Angeline Charles of the Australian Marine Conservation Society (AMCS) join us for a panel discussion. Differing opinions are inspiring and important in the quest to find foundation to our own beliefs; robust discussion is healthy.

One of the many things people took from the talk was the fish cooking chart we handed out, it’s a simple list of different sustainable Australian fish species and the best methods by which to cook them.  I’ve had a few requests for it, so here it is again:

fish cooking chart

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The Department of Primary industries has just produced this video about sustainable fish and fishing in Victoria featuring Neil Perry.

It’s just under 10 minutes and looks at Port Phillip Bay, snapper, calamari, King George whiting and is supported by people with great vision and love of the sea: Anthony Hurst from Fisheries Victoria, Roy Palmer of Seafood Experience Australia and Ross McGowan from Seafood Industry Victoria.

Just 10 minutes of your time…

Click here

I received some good news regarding what we may be seeing at the fish markets here in Melbourne in the next few days:

Cobia (Black Kingfish) should be back in the market this coming Thursday 18th February, as well as the delicious Murray Cod (pictured). Baby Kingfish is also now available at around .9 – 1kg in weight.

Sydney Rock oysters have been washed out in most places but Tasmanian oysters are fine (these are pacifics).

Think I’ll grab some kingfish and grill it very simply and serve it next to tomatoes, chopped and mixed with black olives and parsley tossed in extra virgin olive oil and red wine vinegar – a lovely late summer supper.

Guide to Fish has been ranked in the top 12 books in the last 12 months by food, wine and travel website VisitVineyards.com.

Thanks to Robyn Lewis and her team at VV!

The great news is that sales of Guide to Fish are on the increase as more people are becoming aware of the impact of over-fishing and that they have the power to assist the ocean through their choices at the market counter.

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Guide to Fish: Choosing and Cooking Sustainable Species has just been reviewed by wonderful cookbook website The Gastronomer’s Bookshelf and received a 5 star rating.

This is a clever, comprehensive website designed for all of us who love, buy and literarily devour all things food!

thanks to Duncan Markham and his team for the review,

to read the review take a look here

 

 

 

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The Guide to Fish is back to market tomorrow at Gasworks in Albert Park

MELBOURNE FARMERS MARKET

Gasworks Arts Park, 21 Graham Street, 
Albert Park (cnr Pickles St ) 
 Melway ref 2J H

                                Time: 8.30 am – 1.00 pm

                                 Free Entry

 

                            SEE YOU THERE!!

                           www.mfm.com.au 

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 Friend of the Sea (FOS) is a non-profit organisation, founded in 2006 by Dr Paolo Bray who is also the European Director of the Dolphin-Safe Project. FOS has developed criteria for sustainable seafood production with which aquaculture businesses and wild fisheries may apply to be assessed and then, if they meet the standards required, receive the FOS certification. Once certified they can use the FOS logo which allows the consumer to see that the producer has met the strict sustainable guidelines set by FOS which are audited by internationally accredited certification bodies.

Bray, who also acts as the FOS director explains, ‘Audits are run on-site by independent accredited international certification bodies, such as SGS and Bureau Veritas, according to the Friend of the Sea criteria. This procedure is a guarantee of impartiality and independence and is in line with the FAO (Food and Agriculture Organisation of the UN) guidelines.’

There are a lot of questions surrounding aquaculture practices within the context of sustainability and all aquaculture is often all piled together as being environmentally damaging, but FOS is broadening that perspective. ‘It is an increasingly shared view that aquaculture can be a much more efficient and lower impact way of producing seafood,’ says Bray, ‘while one cannot generalise, and this opinion does not refer to quality or price, it is clear that fishing in the ocean is mostly fuel inefficient.’

The negative impacts of aquaculture in terms of fish escaping into the ocean, feed management and the use of antibiotics, have been strongly reduced over the last ten years, if for no other reason, they are smart business decisions. Bray continues,  ‘In most cases these improvements make business sense: feed costs have increased; escapes represent a real cost for companies, not only a potential environmental impact; a disease prevention policy is more cost effective and lowers need of use of antibiotics.’

Bray continues, ‘Friend of the Sea has gone further and it assesses fish meal fisheries according to its sustainability standards. Certified fishfeed currently originate from trimmings, but will soon include fishfeed from certified fisheries, such as menhaden in USA, mackerel and sardines in Morocco and Anchovies in Peru. Aquaculture farms will have to use Friend of the Sea certified fishfeed starting the middle of year 2009.’

In 2008, FOS saw a strong increase in interest in their organisation from the fishing and aquaculture industries and FOS is currently auditing every week on every continent – it’s good news for all – especially the ocean.