In the lead up to World Ocean Day on June 8th, chefs from Melbourne’s top restaurants are diving deep into seafood sustainability.
Eco start-up Seafood Positive and Two Hands have teamed up to host chefs from some of Melbourne’s favourite restaurants including Stokehouse, Nomad, Lilac Wine Bar, Supernormal and The Local Tap House on a seafood safari, showcasing Victoria’s sustainable produce.
Seafood Positive Founder Dr Chris Gillies said “Australians eat over 356,000 tonnes of seafood each year, with demand for seafood expected to double by 2050. Educating chefs on which fish species are sustainable and where to source them will help ensure we don’t harm fish stocks and marine life as more people eat seafood.”
The tours visit local seafood producers including Mainstream Aquaculture Barramundi farm at Werribee and Jade Tiger Abalone farm at Indented Head. Chefs are gaining first-hand experience about how seafood is sustainably farmed in Victoria.
“It’s not only the sustainability of fisheries and oceans that’s important, but the supply chains that help get seafood from the ocean or farm onto the dinnerplate” said Sascha Rust, Head of Food Systems at Two Hands. “It’s important chefs understand where their seafood originates, how its caught or farmed and to make sure its appropriately labelled, so sustainable seafood doesn’t get mixed up with unsustainable produce.”
Chefs are treated to a seafood lunch at La Cantina Restaurant – located on-site at The Mulberry Group’s regenerative farm and social enterprise, Common Ground Project. Here, chefs gain insights about long-term solutions from guest speakers The Nature Conservancy and Corner Inlet Fishers Co-op. The connection between seafood sustainability and regenerative agriculture isn’t lost on Common Ground Project’s CEO Felicity Jacob.
Chefs are treated to a seafood lunch at The Common Ground Project
“In the hospitality industry, there is a huge movement towards sourcing produce from farmers that use regenerative practices. At Common Ground Project, building soil health and biodiversity across the farm underpins everything that we do, growing a variety of seasonal produce that ends up on the menus across The Mulberry Group venues. The food waste from our on-site restaurant ends up back on the farm, creating a circular food system. We are so glad to play host to these amazing chefs who want to learn more about sustainable seafood in Victoria."
Seafood Positive takes the circular economy concept into the seafood industry. It helps seafood businesses and seafood lovers balance their seafood use by replenishing the ocean with two fish for every fish sold or consumed.
Seafood Positive’s flagship initiative, OneFishTwoFish, launched in February this year and helps Australia’s food service sector become more sustainable, and leave a legacy of regenerated marine habitats, which provide food and shelter for more fish to thrive. “It’s just like regenerative agriculture, but it works in our oceans,” said Dr Gillies.
Jason Staudt, Executive Chef at Stokehouse Restaurant said “Whilst chefs often seek sustainable produce, we rarely get the opportunity to see and experience how sustainable seafood is produced.
These tours are helping to break down barriers between chefs and seafood producers. This ultimately benefits seafood lovers, because it means chefs can choose the right seafood from the right sources and diners can feel confident that eating seafood won’t hurt the planet.”