Understanding wild caught fish


Sustainable harvest

Commercially harvested wild-caught fish species can generally be separated into two categories – white fish and oily fish. White fish are generally found on or near to the seafloor, whereas oily (or pelagic) fish live in the water column away from the seafloor. Here at Bidfood we understand seafood. Let us teach you how to understand wild caught fish.

What kind of seafood is white fish?

White fish can be further subdivided into bentho-pelagic fish (round fish which live near the sea bed such as cod, hoki, Alaska pollock and whitings) and benthic fish (which live on the sea bed such as flatfish like flounder, sole or monkfish). White fish are often processed into battered or crumbed value-added products. These species are often caught by trawling or, for certain premium species, longlines or pots are used.

What kind of seafood is oily fish?

Oily or pelagic fish are shoal-dwelling, fast swimming, mid-to-surface water fish. These are species such as Atlantic salmon, wild-caught red and pink Pacific salmon species and tuna. Generally, these oily fish are caught with static fishing nets – like gill nets or purse seines. Due to their oily nature, these species lend themselves to being canned, as this process stops all the good oils from spoiling.

What is overfishing?

Overfishing can be a challenge for wild fish stocks, particularly in cases where you have ‘straddling stocks.’ Straddling stocks is where fish spend part of their lifespan in one country and the rest of their life cycle in another. In order to address overfishing and other seafood sustainability concerns, third party certification of fish stocks across the world have become common for key globally traded fish. Bidfood sources Alaska pollock, Pacific cod, Atlantic cod, flounder, hoki/blue grenadier and whiting from MSC certified fisheries, as well as Alaskan pink and red salmon from RFM certified fisheries.

Alaska pollock

(Gadus chalcogrammus)

Alaska pollock is a lean, mild and tender member of the cod family. Alaska pollock is a great eco-conscious seafood choice and available frozen year-round. This species of fish is easy to prepare, delivering a mild, appealing flavour with consistent snow-white flesh. Its tender texture has excellent flaking qualities, which caters perfectly to consumers who prefer more delicate fish.

Hoki/blue grenadier

(Macruronus novaezelandiae)

Quickly becoming more popular throughout Australia, hoki/blue grenadier provides a large, medium thickness, boned-out fillet with a thin, edible skin (except for in New Zealand where the skin is usually removed). Blue grenadier has a delicate, sweet, succulent flavour, with moist flesh that flakes easily. Its flesh is particularly soft when raw and requires careful handling. Though excellent for grilling or barbecuing, this species is best suited to frying or baking because of the low oiliness of the species. For best results when frying, use a light batter or crumb.

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