Wellington chef, sustainability champion and national sales manager of Yellow Brick Road Martin Bosley, says anyone forecasting the demise of tarakihi needs to have a look at the science around the Quota Management System.
“At Yellow Brick Road, we supply around 300 restaurants and our reputation relies on the sustainability of the fish we supply to our customers.
“The word, 'sustainable' is misunderstood. Put simply, a sustainable fishery is one whose practices can be maintained indefinitely without adversely impacting on other species within the ecosystem.
“At Yellow Brick Road, our touchstone for sustainability is the Quota Management System. From quota management we consider provenance and practice. There are many ways to catch a fish. There are ways to show respect and demonstrate responsibility in catching and purchasing fish that engender true sustainability.
“What we are seeing now, in the debate over the sustainability of tarakihi is the Quota Management System in action. If you see a stock reduce you cut how much you catch. It’s that simple.
“The commercial fishing industry took a 20 percent cut in the quota last year and the stock is rebuilding. They are also actively working on further proposals to ensure the stock continues to rebuild.
“I’m still supplying my customers tarakihi because I know how the Quota Management System works. And I believe in the science.
“The last time we had a fish stock in trouble was prior to the Quota Management coming in. In that case it was orange roughy but that species is now the gold standard in sustainable fisheries.
“Fish forms an integral part of our lives and of our food culture and, yes, we should always be eating sustainable species.
“I would also encourage people to be a bit more adventurous and try other species as well. We tend to only eat five or six different species when there are dozens of great eating fish in your fish shop.
“But if it’s tarakihi you want to eat, go right ahead and enjoy it.”
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