Sustainable Seafood Week 2018: Restaurants and Hotels Join Together In Saving The Seas!

Sustainable Seafood Week The future of our oceans is at stake, and it will take everyone working together to reverse the tide. The Sustainable Seafood Week is a celebration of food and a venue for sharing the best practices in sustainable fisheries by various stakeholders. Where establishments come together on an open and dynamic platform, to discuss the status and challenges for more sustainable seafood, bringing inspiring solutions for change in the fisheries and aquaculture sector and to raise awareness in public. February 26 to March 18, 2018, will be a long week affair of the third Sustainable Seafood Week organized by top hotels and restaurants in Manila along with the different environmental groups and fisheries NGOs. The Third Sustainable Seafood Week opening was held last February 26 at The Grand Ballroom of Marriott Hotel Manila. “Since our first Sustainable Seafood Week Philippines in 2015 we achieved a lot. We started with a very low sustainable seafood ratio of the overall purchased seafood in the Manila top hotel market. This was the case due to a lack of awareness, knowledge and mainly existence of sustainable seafood solutions in the gastronomy market Manila. The Sustainable Seafood Weeks here in Manila lead to raising awareness of what sustainability is all about. And we, Meliomar, as sustainable seafood supplier, brought the solutions into the market. Sustainable seafood is characterized through a strong traceability system from non-IUU-fisheries (non-Illegal, Unreported, and Unregulated), caught with selective, non-harmful gear, like for example handline single-hook gear. The by-catch that is not desired and very destructive has to be brought down to nearly zero. And we need to ensure that we do not bring juvenile fish into our supply chains. Strict procurement guidelines of the supplier and in the hotels have to guarantee that unsustainable seafood choices are avoided.” Rose Mendez, Business Development Manager of Meliomar, Inc. and the organizer of the event weeks says, “It is great to see that many organizations participate in the Sustainable Seafood Week. We all need to work together in the multi-stakeholder approach of this initiative for change. The government, the NGOs, suppliers, hotels, educational institutions, and retail. Many international top-hotels have global sustainable seafood policies that needs to be implemented in their establishments. They need to have access to premium quality and responsibly sourced seafood solutions. It is good to see that one hotel in our initiative in Manila achieved already an increase from about 20% to 80% sustainable seafood usage in its restaurant outlets from our first Seafood Week 2016 to now. This shows the strong impact that our initiative has.” The Sustainable Seafood Week will have many activities happening in various high-end partner hotels. These include presentations, chef master classes, cooking competitions and technical workshops on what sustainable seafood is all about. Here’s the schedule for 2018’s sustainable seafood program:   The dishes were prepared with seafood sourced responsibly. Getting as many restaurants and hotels to buy fish and other marine products from communities where the fisherfolk use non-invasive fishing gear, catch adult-sized marine species, fish in the right areas and follow traceability standards. Here are some of the dishes prepared by participating restaurants, hotels and schools… Salmon gravlax cured with lemon served daily in their Mariott Cafe. I love their golf cart grill serving hot fish taco’s using codfish, topped  different Asian and western slaw. The Conrad Hotel’s goal by 2022 is to have 75% of their products all locally caught, sustainable or farmed. The first dish a ceviche with coconut, chili, tomato, onion and lime,  finished with truffle foam. It’s has a very light flavor with excellent taste. Spring onion dim sum filled with prawn and cod fish, poured with Chinese onion tea from China Blue. Raffles Hotel has already committed to serving all sustainable Seafood in their buffet. They already took out all the grouper, some of the wild fish that they usually serve in their Spectrum buffet and replaced it with mahi-mahi and emperor fish. One of their top suppliers is Meliomar. Mahi-mahi carpaccio marinated in yuzu soy. It’s seared with a hot oil mixture then topped wth some ginger scallions, cilantro, and radish. New World’s fresh crystal bay oysters are always a crowd favorite. 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. My favorite is their scallop glacage in cooked cream with egg yolk and parmesan. The scallops are very sweet that melts at every bite. Hyatt’s seafood chowder using sustainable clams, shrimps and mahi-mahi fish seasoned with paprika. I love the generous serving, you can see the huge chunks of meat in the dish. Makati Shangri-la’s Indian rendition using crispy balls with Selva Black Tiger Prawns and a shot of gazpacho.

The Discovery Leisure Company’s traditional Filipino boodle fight prepared using sustainable seafood- lobster relleno, grilled tuna, sauteed selva prawns and seared scallops.

Accor Hotels’ ceviche using emperor fish and Cod Brandade. Grind Bistro’s modern take on scallop ceviche tossed in red wine vinegar dressing topped with onion ash, foie gras soil, and lime juice chips.

Pan-seared barramundi fillet with pumpkin ginger puree and edamame by the Center of Culinary Arts (CCA).

Enderun’s seafood veracruz using squid ink risotto top with prawns and scallops. Congratulations on this year’s launch of the third Sustainable Seafood Week campaign! I’m so thrilled to find many hotels and restaurant support this cause. Next time you consume seafood, let’s be conscious and play our part in addressing the problem in saving our seas!   Live an Awesome Life, ABI of Team Our Awesome Planet Disclosure:  We were media guest of the Sustainable Seafood Week. I wrote this article with my biases, opinions, and insights. 

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