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Lifestyle : Seafood
1HERSA1 E018 ONLY THE BEST IN FRESH AND COOKED SEAFOOD! FRESH Tues - Sunday 8am - 6pm COOKED Tues - Sunday 10.30am - 7pm 47 THE KINGSWAY, CRONULLA Phone: 9544 0033 Fax: 9527 1197 Finest sh restaurant and retail selection on the North Shore "from bait to plate we know our sh" Mac Forbes Wine Degustation Dinner June 8th BOOK NOW 75 Grosvenor Lane, Neutral Bay e. sh@ ne sh.com.au p. 9908 4448 w. ne sh.com.au AG1826388AA-010610 Proud supplier of Palmers Island Mulloway 18 Tuesday, June 1, 2010 smh.com.au good living spotlight on seafood Scaling new heights Top catch . . . The Point in Ballina serves Palmers Island mulloway with finger limes and sunflower shoots. Photo: Paul Harris Sustainably farmed mulloway is an easy option for fine diners, writes Carli Ratcliff. Once labelled jewfish, mulloway is a species revered by indigenous fisherman as ''the greatest one''. Andrew Carroll, of Palmers Island Mulloway, agrees with the sentiment. Carroll and his father, John, bought an abandoned prawn farm on Palmers Island, near the mouth of the Clarence River, in 2008. The pair is working in partnership with the National Marine Science Centre, based in Coffs Harbour, to establish a working model for sustainable farming of mulloway. Having worked in aquaculture in South Australia, Andrew identified the fish as having the perfect temperament for land-based pond farming. ''Mulloway are lazy, they like muddy water and they tend to just hover,'' he says. They also stress easily. ''In a sea pen, sharks, dolphins and all manner of prey are close by and they stress the fish,'' he says. ''But as long as mulloway are safely camouflaged in muddy water and are away from predators they're happy.'' And it seems happy fish are healthy fish. Having eliminated the problem of prey by housing the fish alone in low-lying ponds that once held prawns, the next challenge was to eliminate the threat of disease without antibiotics. ''I figured if the fish were free of stress they'd be less likely to get sick -- so far we haven't lost a single fish,'' Andrew says. The Carrolls are able to grow a fish to plate size (about 2.5 kilograms) in less than two years. Mulloway grown in sea pens can take three years to four years to reach restaurant size. The firm, white-fleshed fish is best suited to quick cooking. Andrew Boyd of Martin's Seafoods supplies Palmers Island mulloway to restaurants including The Point in Ballina, est, Pier and The Boathouse and exports have just begun to Russia and the US. It also appears on the menu at Boyd's restaurant, Finefish, in Neutral Bay. Chef Paul Pereira serves fillets pan-roasted with caponata and a kohlrabi puree. Mulloway is also popular with Sydney's Japanese restaurants, including Masuya, Wasavie and Fuuki. Boyd says the farmed mulloway appeals for several reasons. ''It is the easiest fish I have ever cooked,'' he says. He was also attracted to the family's sustainable practices. ''If we are serious about maintaining wild stocks, we have to embrace clean aquaculture -- fish raised by farmers who consider the well-being of the animal and the environment. From their decision to reuse existing ponds, to isolating the fish, to their refusal to administer antibiotics or chemicals, they're an example of aquaculture as it can and should be.'' See pim.net.au.