App reveals New Zealand’s best and worst seafood choices

Forest & Bird has released today a powerful free mobile app which ranks the sustainability of more than 117 commercially harvested New Zealand seafood varieties.

The Best Fish Guide 2017 is New Zealand’s only comprehensive and independent guide to sustainable seafood. It uses a traffic light system to guide consumers in their seafood choices.

In highly anticipated findings, the guide reveals that 42 New Zealand seafood choices are farmed or fished sustainably, but 75 are in the red ‘worst choice’ category.

“The guide is a powerful tool that helps New Zealanders make a real difference for our oceans. There is plenty of choice for Kiwis who love their seafood but who want to encourage responsible fishing practices,” says Katrina Goddard, Forest & Bird Marine Conservation Advocate.

In a new feature for the app, many species have more than one ranking depending on where and how they were caught. The guide also recommends alternative choices for the least sustainable species, and includes recipes for sustainably caught species by well-known chefs.

There are nine options the guide puts in the green ‘great to eat’ category, including farmed paua, albacore and skipjack tuna, some salmon, and mussels and crayfish from some regions.

Thirty four seafood choices are listed in the app’s ‘ok to eat’ category, including kahawai, trevally caught by purse seine, kingfish caught by set net, blue cod caught by pots, and for the first time ever, hoki caught by mid-water trawl.

However, the majority of species are still in the ‘worst choice’ category. There are seventy-five options in this category, including southern and pacific bluefin tuna, orange roughy, arrow squid caught by trawl, all shark species, long-fin and short-fin eels, and whitebait.

“New Zealanders have been shocked this year by revelations of illegal and destructive fishing practices,” says Forest & Bird Chief Executive Kevin Hague.

“It’s a sad fact that the majority of commercially available seafood options are still being fished unsustainably, so Forest & Bird is really pleased to offer a simple, accurate guide that lets people make a positive difference for our ocean,” says Mr Hague.

Chefs who have provided recipes for the guide include Annabel Langbein, Al Brown, Brett McGregor, Julie Biuso, Grace Ramirez, Shaun Clouston, and Lauraine Jacobs.

“It was an easy decision to be involved in the Best Fish Guide. Sustainable fishing is something we really believe in at Logan Brown. It’s dear to our business model, and our hearts,’ says Shaun Clouston, executive chef and partner at Logan Brown Restaurant.