Sustainable Seafood Week PH: Addressing the Issue of Responsible Seafood Sourcing One Plate at a Time!
by Abigail Javellana
Sustainable Seafood Week Philippines shows how Philippine stakeholders including the hospitality industry, civil society groups, businesses, and government can work hand in hand to build public awareness on the issue of responsible seafood sourcing and how critical it is for the seafood industry to act in response to the rapid depletion of the ocean’s resources.
The week-long celebration and learning event starts from Feb 20-26 with more organizations participating this year...
Sustainable Seafood Week Ph
February 20- 26, 2017
Sustainable Seafood Week 2017 was launched on January 16 at the Mariott Grand Ballroom.
“There are more participants this year, more hotels and restaurants, educational institutions, NGOs, retailers, and other interested organizations. This shows growing importance placed on the topic of responsible seafood sourcing, implemented traceability, legal fisheries, and improvement of fishery and aquaculture management. We started this movement with the involvement of all stakeholders, and with so many more organizations involved, we can draw more attention on the topic,” said Christian Schmidradner, General Manager of seafood company Meliomar and one of the lead proponents of the initiative.
"What’s important now is for the government to have the same parallel effort as the industry to strongly implementing the Philippines fisheries code which was amended to address illegal fishing and unregulated fishing to ensure there is a continuous supply of sustainable seafood." cited Vince Cinches, Oceans Campaigner for Greenpeace Southeast Asia.
The dishes were prepared with seafood sourced responsibly. Here are some of the dishes prepared by participating restaurants, hotels and schools...
Crystal Bay oysters are a brackish-water species known for its tasty, creamy flesh. They do not require additional feed and are self-sustaining, able to feed on microorganisms already in the water. Reduces fishing pressure on the wild oyster population, while cleaning and improving the quality of coastal waters with filter-feeding action.
Oyster calamansi martini with vodka and Oyster ponzu sauce with quail egg by New World Hotel.
Sustainable Shrimp raised by mother nature. Selva Shrimp are raised in integrated mangrove forest farms with no feed, fertilizers, and chemicals. The mangrove forest itself provides habitat and food for the shrimp. Because of its freshness, the Selva Shrimp are known to be sweet, making it a favorite ingredient among chefs.
The massive and stunning shrimp cocktail salad by Mariott.
Fun and creative shrimp rolls by Discovery Shores.
Mahi Mahi has high resilience to fishing pressure due to fast growth and early maturation. Catching mahi mahi with selective gear such as single - hook handline results in minimal environmental impact.
Line caught ceviche of Mahi Mahi with chili, calamansi, and cafe lime leaves. It has a nice texture with meatiness by Shangri-la Hotel.
A large pan of seafood paella (prawns, mahi-mahi, mussels, and squid) by Marco Pollo Hotel.
Potatoes gnocchi sauteed with seafood and cherry tomatoes by Sofitel.
Using a single-hook handline gear, Filipino tuna fishermen usually start fishing after sunset, traditionally done in small wooden outrigger boats or “bangkas,” and involves the use of the drop-stone technique. The fishermen spend two to three days at sea, working the coastal waters of the Philippine archipelago. The catch method used is the most sustainable and responsible means for catching adult tuna, and is recognized by leading environmental NGO’s worldwide as a better seafood choice.
Raw tuna brushed with a miso glaze and Foie gras mousse inside with mango, apple radish and salmon roe on top by Grind Bistro in partnership with Disciples@Escoffer.
Tanigue (Spanish mackerel) are fecund species thus their vulnerability to fishing pressure is moderate. Catching Tanigue with selective gear such as single - hook handline results in minimal environmental impact
Marinated great trevally fish, smoked mackerel filet, kinilaw of vegetables on garlic crostini with avocado puree and baby micro green by Le Club in partnership with Disciples@Escoffer.
Marinated mackerel in Saffron, orange juice with fennel seed. Smoked piquillo guacamole, vinaigrette with local oyster, pink peppercorn, lime caviar and basil oil by Makati Shangri-La.
Sous vide mackerel with artichoke puree and pickled vegetables, beetroot chips by Hyatt.
Squid has very high resilience to fishing pressure due to fast growth, early maturation, and high production potential.
Stuffed baby squid with laing black rice risotto by EDSA Shangri-La.
Catching Spanner Crabs with selective gear like traps has minimal environmental impact. It is important to respect the minimum size limits to allow the crab to reproduce.
Curucha Toasties, Salted Egg, Bacon by The Peninsula Manila.
Purple rice crackers sourced from Ifugao with seafood mouse on top made from crab, lobster, and white snapper, finished with drops of black bean and jalapeno paste, and for the finishing touches cilantro flowers just for beautiful details by Vask.
Black Rice with Cuttlefish. The cuttlefish they used was large and already matured and has laid thousands of eggs. riso nero black rice using ink from the cuttlefish, chorizo, tomato confit and garnishes from the sprouts by Enderun.
Overall, we are happy that there is an increase participation of hotel, resorts, and restaurants for the sustainable seafood week meaning it’s an indication that a lot of business have high consciousness in their role to address overfishing and marine ecosystem degradation. And it is our job as consumers to be conscious and play our part in addressing the problem.
Here are some helpful tips on how we consumers can take part in the sustainable seafood practice.
1. Sustainable Seafood should be traceable. Consumers should be informed where and how the seafood was caught and the status of its species.
2. Be an educated consumer. Choose restaurants who follow this policy and have a heavy sustainable seafood menu.
3. It should be equitable. Meaning it gives premium to fisherfolk who have high incidents of poverty because of overfishing and haggling down of prices, by giving them a fair price for their catch.
Sustainable Seafood Week Ph
February 20- 26, 2017
Live an Awesome Life,
Abi of Team Our Awesome Planet
Disclosure: We were Media guests for the Sustainable Seafood Week media launch. We wrote this article with our biases, opinions, and insights.
 Participating and supporting organizations include the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources, Meliomar Inc., Hyatt City of Dreams Manila, Marco Polo Ortigas, Marriott Manila Hotel, Marriott Bangkok, Enderun Colleges, New World Hotel Makati, New World Hotel Manila Bay, Large Marine Vertebrate Project, Philippines, Grand Hyatt Singapore, Conrad Manila, Agos, Echo Store, Down to Earth, Healthy Options, Control Union, MSC/ASC, Marine Wildlife Watch The Peninsula Manila, Shangri-La Hotels, Fairmont Raffles, New World Makati, Le Club, Hooch, Reef Check Philippines, Slowfood Philippines, Gracepark, Fishers and Changemakers, Discovery Leisure Company, Sofitel Philippine Plaza, Accor Group Philippines, Vask, Disciples Escoffier International, Center for Culinary Arts, USAID, Conservation International, Bloomberg Philanthropies, Blueyou, Centre for Sustainability, Greenpeace Southeast Asia, PEMSEA and RARE Fish Forever.