Chef James Oakley, Alibi at Cordis, Hong Hong
”The average consumption of seafood per Hong Konger is [according to reports, 70kg per person per year]. There are 7.8 million people in Hong Kong. If we continue to eat seafood at this rate, irresponsibly by our unsustainable means, there will be no seafood left in the future. So, for me, to choose a sustainable seafood product and feature it on our menu, I feel it’s my moral obligation to do so.”
How can we do better?
I think, quite simply, there are a lot of organisations out there that monitor fisheries and how sustainable they are. You can easily access the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) seafood guides online, but you can also see [these certifications] in all supermarkets across Hong Kong, be it at Taste, Wellcome, Market Place. Look for seafood that bears the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) or Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) logo as a good indication as to what’s sustainable and what’s not.
Favourite seafood dish?
I have two. Prior to my understanding of the state of the world’s oceans and seafood, my favourite was otoro bluefin tuna belly, which I no longer eat, as it’s endangered and well overfished. I recommend that we all look for alternatives now so that we can secure the future of this species. My favourite now is black cod marinated with miso, from Alaska. The beauty with Alaskan black cod is the fishermen have to follow strict quotas of catch and size, meaning that they don’t take juveniles; they allow the fish to grow to a size where they can reproduce and give the species a chance to reproduce. I want my children in the future to at least see what I have seen, and perhaps if we start acting more responsibly, we will be able to see more life in the ocean and see it begin to flourish again.