For many, circumstances have changed this year, and Christmas might look and feel different than years before. Wherever you may be, whether lucky to be with loved ones or making the best of it on Zoom, it has never been more important to take a moment, and enjoy what each of us have.
If you are a seafood lover, there are great ways to celebrate with sustainable seafood options that tread lightly on our seas. To help you plan your holiday feast, we have put together some ocean AND budget-friendly seafood options that will not only make a delicious meal, but also support sustainable Australian fishing and farming communities who have done it tough this year.
Until recently, this fish has been out of fashion for home dining – and a total dark horse of the restaurant menu. Mullet is a highly affordable seafood option that is fantastic slow roasted, barbecued or in curries and works incredibly well with strong flavours. Better yet, by choosing this Green-List fish caught by sustainable fishing communities along Australia’s Eastern coast, you are supporting people who between bushfires and the restaurant market slowdowns have likely done it tough in 2020. That’s even more reasons to feel good about choosing sustainable seafood.
Common across Australia’s North, these large fish are ideal for a larger family meal due to their size and ease to cook. Spanish mackerel are fished from a range of healthy stocks, and caught with almost no bycatch or any impact on marine habitats. Try it raw with fresh herbs and chilli as a ceviche or simply charred on the barbecued with fresh lemon juice.
Farmed Oysters and Mussels
Australia’s oyster and mussel farmers have always produced some of the most sustainable seafood available in Australia. But Australia’s South-East oyster coast was hit particularly hard this year, with bushfires affecting the healthy estuarine and riverine catchments they depend on while also devastating the tourist market that helps many of them see through the year. There is nothing better or easier to impress with than freshly shucked oysters or mussels popped open on the barbecue. Throw these stewards of our inlets and estuaries your support this Christmas.
Spencer Gulf King Prawns
Wild-caught prawns from South Australia’s Spencer Gulf are Australia’s first wild prawn fishery to make the Green-List in GoodFish: Australia’s Sustainable Seafood Guide. Substantial investment has been made to reduce the ‘footprint’ of their fishery, closing areas known to host sensitive environments and vulnerable species. Prawns are an Australian staple for Christmas and while always a luxury, thanks to these fishers they don’t have to come at the expense of our oceans
Farmed Murray Cod
A clear favourite of the GoodFish team, Murray Cod are an endemic and iconic Australian species that are now farmed very efficiently across inland NSW, SA and Victoria. These fisheries are in regions heavily impacted by drought or by restaurant closures in 2020, but with your support you can make their holidays a little brighter. It is the kind of fish everyone will enjoy, as a table centre-piece or grilled for a simple meal.
Eastern or Western Rock Lobster
Often out of reach for Australians, current trade friction means has delivered a special treat this Christmas with lobsters destined for lucrative export to China are now flooding Australia’s domestic markets at much lower prices. These lobsters are caught from healthy stocks with little impact on other species or sensitive seafloor habitats. Take advantage of this rare opportunity and help support this sustainably managed industry to get back on its feet.
Whatever your seafood choices this Christmas, don’t forget to use GoodFish: Australia’s Sustainable Seafood Guide to find the most sustainable options. By making good choices we keep our oceans healthy and full of life, and give some holiday care to the fisheries who have worked hard to be sustainable in a difficult year.
Of course we couldn’t do any of this without you, so from the GoodFish team, we wish you all the best, a Merry Christmas, and all the hope for a much bigger and brighter 2021 for us and our oceans.