It’s World Oceans Day, and there’s no better time to start supporting the marine environment. As you might know, our oceans are heavily overfished. A recent study that came out showed that 55% of the ocean is being fished by large vessels alone.
That’s not even including smaller fisheries or fishing villages around the globe. And we haven’t even talked about pirates (yes, they exist) who illegally fish for endangered species worth a lot of money, since they’re so rare now.
Our oceans aren’t bottomless, and if all of this keeps up, fish won’t be able to reproduce quickly enough to get their population size back to normal, and they might even be driven to extinction, meaning seafood would get more scarce and pretty expensive.
But that doesn’t mean that we should be avoiding seafood entirely, or eating any less of it. It just means we need to stay woke and choose the right seafood to eat – sustainable seafood, which won’t harm the oceans’ environment in any way.
A super effective and quick way to identify which seafood is sustainable is to look for labels from the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) or Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) on the packaging. They are highly stringent non-profit organisations dedicated to fishing out (pun intended) the companies that are sustainable when it comes to fishing and farming fish, respectively.
It’s not always that cut and dried though. Not every company opts to be certified (it costs a hefty 15k - 120k for a 5 year certification), so it’s up to you to do your due diligence from bait to plate so you know which seafood is good to buy.
Here’s where we come in. We’ve shortlisted a couple of fisheries and restaurants that provide sustainable seafood. Scroll down to see them all.
Fisk is both a market and a restaurant that focuses on sustainable food as much as possible. Around 60% of the food is imported from Norway, where the sustainability culture is very prevalent.
Though not everything is certified, the owner of Fisk, Frank Naesheim, is big on sustainability and personality visits the fisheries and farms he sources from to make sure they’re up to standard.
As an example, the Norwegian King Crab at Fisk is caught by fishermen who are so conscious of their catch they fish only once a day in small boat, and release the younger and female crabs so they can continue to grow and reproduce in the ocean.
You’ll find a tonne of fish resting on ice in the 18m long seafood bar at Fisk, just ask the friendly staff to point you in the direction of the sustainable ones.
After that, you can choose to enjoy that fish in the restaurant, or get the in-house chefs to cook it for you to take home, for a flat fee of $15, no matter how much fish you order.
Fisk is at 30 Stevens Road.
Kuhlbarra, if you’ll believe it, is a barramundi farm that’s based off the coast of Singapore. Yep, a fishery in our own waters that’s sustainable to boot.
Not all fish farms are sustainable though. Even if fisheries don’t deplete the number of fish in the ocean, they might pollute the waters and cause fish to die.
Kuhlbarra on the other hand, is based in waters with strong currents that let the fish waste get naturally recycled. The fish are fed with certified sustainable food too, down to the fish meal, corn and soybeans that make up the food.
The awesome thing about Kuhlbarra is that it’s farm to table – the fish is harvested as soon as you make an order and delivered straight to you without being frozen. So it’s sustainable, and ultra fresh, what’s not to love?
You can also try the sustainable barramundi broth which can be used as a base for soups, steamboats and sauces. There’s even a ready-to-eat soup version which you can order online.
Order from Kulhbarra by clicking here.
3) Fassler Gourmet
Photo: Burpple / @alvin
Those of you who love seafood and sashimi in particular and good prices will probably go wild at Fassler Gourmet. It’s a wholesaler which explains the cheaper prices, but know that there’s a $20 delivery charge unless you order at least $150 worth of seafood. We guess it’s a good time to stock up then, isn’t it?
You can get fishes like salmon or tuna that’s been sliced or filleted, scallops,squid, lobster, or prawns. They come from all around the world, including Japan, US, and China.
Head to the Fassler Gourmet site to place a delivery, or find it at 46 Woodlands Terrace.
4) The Fishwives
Photo: The Fishwives
The Fishwives prides itself on sustainable, ‘nasty-free’ seafood, which means there are absolutely no hormones or chemicals involved, and the fish are farmed as ethically as possible.
Try the Akaroa Salmon, which is reared its natural habitat in the open ocean, in New Zealand.
The fish are fed a natural diet too and isolated from the wild salmon there so as not to make a negative impact on the local population.
You can buy the catches from the online store and arrange for delivery or self-collection at the physical store at 501 Bukit Timah Road.
5) Sasha’s Fine Foods
Photo: Sasha’s Fine Foods
Sasha’s Fine Foods is one of the best options for sustainable seafood as there is such a good variety of it, and a lot of transparency so you know exactly where your food comes from. Sasha herself visits and her suppliers to ensure everything is on point and that the seafood are fished or farmed for in a way that doesn’t hurt the environment.
Also, there’s a loyalty programme with discount vouchers to get you hooked (yes, pun intended again!)
We think you might be at a loss for choice on what to order, so if you don’t mind the commitment, try ordering a fish box that’s packed with a variety of fish that just enough to last you a week.
Pop over to Sasha’s Fine Foods here.
That’s right, IKEA has sustainable seafood that is either MSC or ASC certified.
You can enjoy sustainable salmon that’s served in the IKEA restaurant, or drop by the Swedish Market Bistro to get the same salmon cured or frozen for cooking at home. You could also grab a bag of sustainable prawns while you’re at it too.
IKEA is at 317 Alexandra Road and 60 Tampines North Drive 2.
7) Grand Hyatt and Hilton Hotels
These two hotels have made it their goal to serve sustainable seafood at their premises. While both are already certified by MSC and ASC but take note that not all the items are certified. You could either check the menu at the restaurants for the MSC or ASC logos, or ask the waiters to show you the sustainable option.
You have a huge variety of places with sustainable options to choose from when at these hotels. When at The Hilton, some of the restaurants to check out are il Cielo and Opus Bar and Grill; and at the Grand Hyatt, you could head to Straits Kitchen or Mezza9, among others.
8) Mizzy’s Corner
Photo: Burpple / @jonnyboyeats
This last place is a surprising one. With so few restaurants opting for sustainable seafood suppliers, who would have thought a humble nasi lemak store would serve sustainable fish?
Mizzy's Corner serves Indian mackerel as opposed to the more endangered ikan kuning. You can get a plate of this goodness the next time you visit Changi Village.
Mizzy’s Corner is at 2 Changi Village Road.