October 8th, 2015
Hawaii's well-being is tied to the health of the ocean surrounding us. The ocean sustains us in many ways, from providing food and healing, to relaxation and recreation, and for some, a steady income.
But the economics of development on land and overexploitation of ocean resources has put stress on marine ecosystems, leaving the sustainability of global fisheries in question. Add to that a killoff of microscopic marine life with the advance of global warming, and it's easy to foresee a day when we will no longer have seafood for our tables.
I can almost hear vegans and animal rights activists crying, "Yes! Just stop eating fish!"
But the reality is that with the global population set to increase 4 billion to 11 billion by 2050, how is the planet going to feed that many mouths? In this case, I don't think kale and amaranth are the answers.
Hawaii Seafood Month is a statewide campaign in conjunction with National Seafood Month, to raise awareness of sustainability issues and food self-sufficiency.
The campaign had its launch at MW Restaurant on Wednesday, one of several restaurant, supermarket and retail partners offering sustainably harvested, locally produced seafood to minimize the impact on overfished species and ecological systems, and help ensure future supplies.
Visit www.hawaiiseafoodmonth.com and click on the "Partners" tab to see its links to ThisFish.info, which tracks seafood by code to offer information on when, where and how your fish was caught, as well as special offers continuing through the end of October.
For instance, at Grondin: French Latin Kitchen, a portion of sales of a daily fresh local catch special will go to the Hawaii Seafood Council to help in its mission. Recently, opelu on its menu was harvested on the Miloli'i Fishing Grounds, South Kona.
Consumers can also do their part by choosing less popular, but abundant species of fish. Visit www.seafoodwatch.org to learn about Monterey Bay Aquarium's Seafood Watch and download a Hawaii Seafood Watch guide to restaurant and sushi bar "Best Choices," "Alternatives" and seafood to "Avoid."
Nadine Kam is Style Editor and staff restaurant critic at the Honolulu Star-Advertiser; her coverage is in print on Wednesdays and Thursdays. Contact her via email at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow her on Twitter, Instagram and Rebel Mouse.