[SG] Sustainable Seafood Festival 2014 | Pick the right catch!

Saturday, April 19, 2014

For the first time, World Wide Fund for Nature ("WWF") Singapore partners Marine Stewardship Council ("MSC") to host a sustainable seafood festival in Singapore to promote and celebrate responsible seafood consumption. Taking place from 8 to 15 June 2014 and in tandem with World Oceans Day, Sustainable Seafood Festival is a new movement for sustainable seafood so that our future generations can continue to enjoy our seafood in abundance.

We also attended a cooking workshop with more details found here.

Sourcing, plating and picking the right catch - what is your responsibility?

Do you know that Singapore is one of the biggest seafood consumers in Asia-Pacific with a consumption of over 140 million kg a year? There we go with our flower crabs, tiger prawns and did we hear bluefin tuna too? More than 87% of the world's oceans are already overfished at present and it is estimated that we may run out of seafood by 2048! Before you brush off the thought that it does not concern you, think again because that is only 34 years from now and that is not too far away.

What is sustainable seafood?
Photo credit: Jurgen Freund - Harvesting coral trout

Contrary to common perception that sustainable seafood is farm-raised, it actually includes wild-caught seafood species as well. Whichever the method and type of harvest, it has to be done with care to maintain stable catch levels in the long-term without compromising the environment and other marine life.

Why sustainable seafood?
Photo credit: Robert Delfs - School of fish in a heart shape  

Simply, it ensures that our oceans can replenish itself and continue to provide for future generations. I am sure you will love your children to similarly enjoy delicacies from the ocean?

What can you do?

As consumers, our responsibility starts from sustainable shopping and cooking. For a start, you may refer to WWF's Singapore Seafood Guide when dining out or buying seafood! You can also check out this online interactive guide or download this printable guide. Within the guide, common seafood have been categorised into "Recommended", "Think Twice" and "Avoid".

When shopping for your groceries, please keep a look out for the above logos printed on the product which represent certification from MSC and Aquaculture Stewardship Council ("ASC").

Sustainable Seafood Festival 2014 (8 - 15 June 2014)

This year, there are a few key participating restaurants and hotels who have already taken the lead in using sustainable seafood and introducing them to their menus during the week long festival.

Hilton Singapore, for instance, announced that two of its restaurants, the award-winning Italian restaurant il Cielo and Glow Juice Bar & Cafe will both be participating.

il Cielo, Hilton Hotel | Salmon tartare served with watermelon, marjoram and raspberries vinaigrette

Expect a refreshing twist of flavours as the natural sweetness from the watermelon infuses the mildly savoury salmon tartare before finally one's senses would be alleviated with a punch from the raspberries vinaigrette.

Glow Juice Bar & Cafe, Hilton Hotel | Australian King Prawns served with Mango Salad and Palm Sugar

A titillating appetiser packing the natural freshness from the Australian king prawns, it was beautifully complemented by the acidity of the green mango salad which not only lowers the cholesterol levels of the prawns but also gives a refreshing after-taste.

Oscar's, Conrad Centennial Singapore | Marinated Chilean Seabass

Served atop Japanese rice, the Patagonian Toothfish or more commonly known as Chilean Seabass was well-marinated in classic Teriyaki sauce.

The Pelican Seafood Bar & Grill | Pan Roasted Toothfish 

One of my favourite dishes at the press conference, the quinoa fritter serving the base had a nice crisp crust on the surface. The pan roasted Antarctic Toothfish retained its natural freshness and the chef's tomato jam scored the home run for the dish with its robust flavours with a balanced touch of sweetness and savouriness.

Seasons Bistro | Patagonian Toothfish Ceviche Taco

The citrus-cured sustainably sourced Pantagonian Toothfish was served with avocado mayonnaise and topped with the crispy shallots which complemented the taco base to build a lovely layer of texture.

*Seasons Bistro has yet to open in Singapore but will be doing so by May 2014 in the vicinity of Somerset. Stay tuned for our updates!

Absinthe Restaurant Francais | Carpaccio of Patagonian Toothfish

Beautifully plated bearing the vibrancy of spring/summer colours, it was light and refreshing. Expect surprising bursts of sweetness with acidity from the tasty ripe sarcotesta of the pomegranate to pair harmoniously with the freshness of the protein.

Apart from the above restaurants, this campaign is also supported by Gattopardo Ristorante di Mare and Shangri-La Rasa Sentosa

While consumers like us would be more concerned about the participating restaurants and hotels, it is also worth noting that Cold Storage is the leading supermarket to advocate the supply of sustainable seafood.

Going up the supply chain, there are also five participating suppliers of sustainable seafood who had each received the Chain of Custody certified by MSC. They are namely Global Oceanlink, Golden Fresh, Indoguna, Lee Fish and Responsible Seafood.

While WWF-Singapore expects more businesses to join this movement to promote sustainable seafood, do visit the official website for the most updated information.

Photo credit: WWF-Singapore

For those who enjoy seafood, my takeaway for you here is simple - are you doing your part to help the marine eco-system? If not, please take some time to understand more about sustainable seafood at www.picktherightcatch.com and do spread the word about this campaign!

With that, we look forward to your participation at the upcoming Sustainable Seafood Festival!

PS: Special thanks to Chenyze for the invitation, WWF-Singapore and Hilton Singapore for hosting the press conference event.

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  2. Great write up ! Hope to see you once we open.. Shout out from Seasons Bistro..

    1. thanks Benjamin for dropping by! would love to visit Seasons Bistro when you guys are open for business! please keep us updated!