Seafood New Zealand Friday Update 12 August 2016

Friday Update is Seafood New Zealand's weekly email from our Chief Executive.

Captain's Blog

August 12, 2016 

QMS - the All Blacks of fisheries management is a winner 

 Orange roughy is on the menu at Queenstown's famed Fishbone this week.
The prized deep sea fish is one of the most popular menu choices at the restaurant recognised by Cuisine magazine this week as one of the country's best.
Fishbone was awarded a prized Hat, New Zealand's version of the Michelin stars.
Owner-operator and head chef Darren Lovell has become a staunch advocate for this country's rich seafood and the sustainability credentials that underpin it.
Yet, for many years he refused to sell roughy, taken in by the Greenpeace line that the species was the poster child for unsustainable fishing.
It was only when he was asked last May to present at the inaugural ConversatioNZ event, aimed at putting this country's food on the world map, that he became a seafood industry convert.
He was asked to present on sustainable seafood and thought he had drawn the short straw.
He looked at Forest & Bird's "good fish" guide and saw just about everything was rated red or orange and therefore should be avoided in their view. 
"I'm allowed to serve mussels and sardines according to them and that's about it," he said. "I wondered if I should even have a seafood restaurant."
Darren began independent research and came to the conclusion New Zealand's Quota Management System was world leading, that it was doing a great job in ensuring sustainable fisheries and there was no call to feel guilty about eating fish.
He was so convinced he decided the QMS is  the "All Blacks of fisheries management".
"Fishing is far more sustainable than even organic farming and has far less impact on the environment. I had never looked at green, rolling hills and thought that ecosystem is totally destroyed and will never be regained.
"Fishing is dangerous work and I feel sorry for fishermen who are subject to a one-sided, unfair story."
Darren aims to have seven species of fish on the menu every night, sourced from Urwins at Bluff, Westfleet in Greymouth and Talley's.
This week, even with the bad weather that has kept southern boats in port and seen Queenstown blanketed in its heaviest snow of an unusually mild winter, he had nine delicious varieties on offer.
As well as orange roughy, dishes included blue cod, gurnard, flounder, salmon, tarakihi, squid, octopus and rock lobster.
The flavours are exquisite and innovative - whole squid is stuffed with ink risotto and the fish fillets are complemented with a croquette of shredded duck.
And Fishbone is the country's biggest restaurant seller of Cloudy Bay sauvignon blanc that goes so well with seafood, although Darren is just as happy to serve a red wine.
In researching the seafood story he was encouraged by Listener food writer Lauraine Jacobs, who is also an advocate for our sustainable fishery.
In her August 6 Listener column she wrote: "It's a tough winter for recreational fishermen, with strong winds and rough seas limiting opportunities to dangle a line. Thank goodness for the fleets of commercial fishermen that set out in all weathers to bring home fish for our tables."
The diners at Fishbone and all the other restaurants around the country serving seafood clearly endorse that.
*Darren Lovell is a speaker at the Seafood New Zealand conference to be opened by Prime Minister John Key in Wellington on August 31. You can register here.

- Tim Pankhurst
Darren Lovell, chef and owner, Fishbone Bar and Grill.
Seafood Industry Conference
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In the Media

Lee snapper now in Whole Foods stores across United States

PRN (August 11) reported on Lee Fish USA supplying premium New Zealand snapper to Whole Foods Markets, a leading American supermarket chain, specialising in whole and organic products. Whole Foods began selling premium New Zealand snapper from Lee Fish across its stores in the United States. "Shoppers across the U.S. can feel comforted knowing they are supporting this small sustainable fishing community from the other side of the world – while enjoying one of the best tasting fish around," the report said. Read more
Navy offshore patrol vessel HMNZS Otago.
Photo: LAC Grant Armishaw/NZDF

Chinese-flagged fishing vessels caught out near New Zealand EEZ

Stuff (August 6) reported on New Zealand navy and government officials boarding two Chinese flagged fishing vessels suspected of serious fishing violations near New Zealand's exclusive economic zone. One of the vessels was caught with an illegal haul of highly lucrative Southern Blue Fin Tuna. The boats attracted attention after being spotted near New Zealand's exclusive economic zone during an air force surveillance flight. A spokeswoman for the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) confirmed a "range of alleged fishing violations were detected". All serious violations were also reported to the Western Central Pacific Fisheries Commission. The report also said one Japanese sushi chain recently paid more than $100,000 for a single 441-pound Southern Blue Fin Tuna.
Read more

Five potential acquaculture sites for Southland to be investigated

Southland Times (August 6) reported on researchers  focusing on five marine locations - three off Stewart Island, and Preservation and Chalky inlets - as the most promising for Southland's aquacultural development.
Southland Regional Development Strategy new industries team chairman Mark O'Connor said the scientific work would likely provide a first cut to eliminate some of the areas before taking the others to a meaningful community engagement process. "'s really important the community understands this is only a very early stage of gathering information. There's no suggestion that actions or decisions are going to be based on this without some fairly robust and extensive consultation." Read more
Honorary fisheries officer Nancy Collis.
Photo: Ross Giblin/Fairfax NZ

Protecting New Zealand waters
from illegal fishing

Stuff (August 9) reported on the work done by honorary fishery officers around New Zealand, who carry out 27,000 inspections annually and catch over 1000 amateur fishers breaking the law. The report featured honorary fisheries officer Nancy Collis in particular, who has volunteered for the role since she was 15. Equipped with a stab-proof vest, paua knife and pamphlets, Collis' role is part educator, part-investigator. 
Nabbing recreational fishers with under-sized fish or oversized catches led to some tense situations, she said.
"There have been times when the stab-proof vest comes in handy."
Collis hopes her volunteer work will lead to better education about marine biodiversity. "It is not all about catching the bad guys." Read more
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