Stick to CoOL Seafood this Easter, says WAFIC
Western Australia is home to an abundance of seafood including sustainably caught ocean fresh or from state-of-the-art aquaculture farm sites. However, knowing what you’re purchasing is confusing. Chief Executive Officer of the Western Australian Fishing Industry Council (WAFIC), John Harrison, offers suggestions to ensure the experience of purchasing seafood this Easter long weekend is an enjoyable and easy one.
“This is one of the best times of the year to feast on a wide variety of Western Australian seafood delicacies from the more affordable, lesser known varieties to the indulgent high-end species.”
“Favourite fish species in season now include north-west goldband snapper and red emperor, pink snapper from WA’s temperate waters, Albany nannygai and King George whiting. Nor should the range of delicious shark species from our shark fisheries or farmed Geraldton Kingfish and Cone Bay Barramundi be overlooked.”
Albany Nannygai – photo via @SealanesWA Instagram
Mr Harrison also recommends consumers consider trying ‘the others’ in the seafood world including sea mullet, Robinson’s seabream, Australian herring, Moses sea perch, wild Western Australian salmon and sardines.
“We have seen a surge of chefs from boutique cafes to fine-dining restaurants across Perth and WA using these ‘lesser known species’, as well as contestants from reality shows such as My Kitchen Rules and Master Chef. These fish species are more affordable, readily obtainable, nutritious and just as pleasing to the pallet as some of their more famous cousins.”
WA sardines on toast…. can’t go wrong… always a winner.
“Seafood retailers have also noted an increase in people buying whole fish, instead of fillets. This goes to show that people are more willing to experiment and try new methods of cooking.”
“If fish isn’t on your menu this year, look out for Abrolhos Island scallops, Shark Bay cockles, Mandurah blue swimmer crabs and new season prawns from Exmouth Gulf and Shark Bay, now available to purchase at your local retailer,”he said.
Abrolhos Island Scallops – photo via @Abrolhosislandscallops Instagram
Concluding, Mr Harrison admits Easter offers a perfect time for the peak industry body to reiterate the importance of purchasing home-grown and sustainably caught seafood – and if in doubt, asking for WA seafood.
“During these busy seafood calendar events, it is imperative that consumer confidence is key. Although many seafood retailers and wholesalers now voluntary have Country of Origin Labelling (CoOL) – if you are uncertain of the origin, ask the direct question, ‘is it Western Australian, Australian or imported’, then make an informed choice.”
“Alternatively look out for the ‘Marine Stewardship Council’ (MSC) blue tick of approval which guarantees that the seafood you choose can be traced back to a sustainable source. To date, eight Western Australian fisheries have been awarded the MSC gold-standard for sustainability – making us a global leader.”
“We are fortunate to have access to a seafood industry envied across the world. If it’s grown or caught in our pristine, unpolluted and safe oceans, rivers and estuaries – then you can be guaranteed that you are enjoying well-managed, sustainable WA seafood. There is also the added benefit that when you choose local you are contributing to the State’s economy and coastal communities- especially important in regional areas of our vast state,” he said.
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