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Lifestyle : taste of Seafood 2012
1HERSA1 E019 Book now on (02)9252 9585 firstname.lastname@example.org Experience modern Japanese cuisine at its best with chef Raita Noda's all new seasonal tasting menu at Ocean Room. Two tasting menus are available, with each showcasing the very best of modern Japanese cuisine: 12 course Raita's Tasting Menu $120 8 course Petit Tasting Menu $95 Keep up to date on our Facebook and Twitter pages: facebook.com/oceanroomsydney twitter.com/oceanroomsydney Good Living readers will receive a bottle of premium boutique Australian wine with two or more tasting menus ordered - simply mention this ad! The Sydney Morning Herald Tuesday, July 17, 2012 19 good living special report taste of seafood Focus shifts to sustainable species Conservation wise . . . Kira Husher says Taronga is committed. Photo: Dallas Kilponen Provenance and harvest are increasingly important for the food industry, writes Carli Ratcliff. S even years ago Elle Bombonato, the manager of marine mammals at Taronga Zoo, and his zookeeper colleagues started to look closely at what they were eating. ''We used to sit around the lunch table discussing ways that we could make more sustainable seafood choices,'' he says. At the time, little information was available about the provenance and harvesting methods of seafood, particularly tuna. ''We decided to put a blanket ban on tuna in the lunch room,'' Bombonato says. The long-standing lunch-room ban has been the impetus for changes throughout the zoo, says the community conservation manager at Taronga, Kira Husher. ''Taronga has made a commitment to serving only sustainable seafood,'' she says. This means only sustainably sourced seafood is served at the zoo's Harbourview Cafe and extends to sustainable feed for the marine mammals and visitor education programs. Four choices of Marine Stewardship Council (MSC)- certified sustainable species are on offer. The menu includes miso- painted New Zealand hoki served with soba noodles, grilled Alaskan salmon, South African hake and Spencer Gulf king prawns. Chef Tom Kime opened his sustainable seafood cafe, Fish & Co, in Annandale, in 2010. His menu also features MSC-approved seafood. Shellfish including cuttlefish and organic mussels are on the menu often, as well as ''underutilised fish'', as Kime calls them, including leatherjacket and smoked haddock. Sue Devlin of Blue Harvest seafoods supplies fish and seafood to restaurants, hotels and caterers throughout Australia. Devlin says the interest from chefs in sustainable species has risen dramatically. ''We have seen such a huge shift in the industry in recent years,'' she says. ''All of our clients now have environmental statements in place, which clearly state that they will not buy species that are not sustainable.'' This extends to hotel groups including Marriott Hotels and the Bavarian Bier Cafes, which serve more than 200 kilograms of sustainably sourced mussels each week. Chef James Privett of the Cut Bar & Grill uses Kinkawooka mussels on his menu as well as Cleanseas mulloway and Crystal Bay prawns. Chef Jeremy Strode of The Fish Shop in Potts Point is committed to using only sustainable and non- threatened species and says customers are on board. ''People are happily ordering lesser-known fish,'' he says. Strode buys much fish from Andrew Boyd of wholesaler Martin's Seafoods in Rozelle and retail store Finefish in Neutral Bay. Boyd says the interest in sustainable seafood is driven by customer demand. ''If customers order it, chefs will keep it on their menus,'' he says. But Boyd believes a shift in customer perception is required for sustainable choices to be more widely considered. ''Very often, people don't give a second thought to the provenance of the seafood they are eating when they order Indian or Thai takeaway, which rarely uses local product,'' he says. Boyd believes buying local is one way to make an environmentally and economically sustainable choice. ''Fisheries are closing in Australia because we are importing more than we export,'' he says. ''We can't control what goes on in international fisheries but we can control what goes on here.'' John Susman of Cloudy Bay Fish Co. at Sydney Opera House and Westfield Sydney believes it can be confusing for chefs and consumers trying to figure out which seafood is sustainable. ''There is a lot of misunderstanding in the community because the information is unclear or not up to date,'' he says. Susman hopes the waters will be less muddy once the federal government's Fisheries Research and Development Corporation (FRDC) releases its National Fish Stock Status Report, which is due in September. ''All 12 government agencies that manage fisheries in this country have contributed to the report,'' he says. ''It will give us clear, thorough information on the state of local fisheries and current fish stocks and will help us to make informed choices.'' See fish.gov.au for more information.
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