Fish and Seafood
Blu Current, Local Fish
I was so excited when I found this local fish supplier. At last, I have found incredibly tasty local fish that is both great quality and sustainable. Top chefs around Singapore are using this barramundi and red snapper in their menus and they are going down a storm. The Singapore government is investing heavily into aquaculture to help increase Singapore's productivity, which is really exciting and I am watching developments very closely.
This farm produces sustainably sea-farmed fish by using holding tanks on floating platforms in the ocean. Water quality is monitored and water is naturally filtered, treated and oxygenated, ensuring well-defined conditions for stress-free growth. The fish are Friends of the Sea certified which means the farm is prohibited from using any growth hormones and must respect the waters ecosystem and critical habitats.
Please see the below diagram which helps to explain the process:
Chalk Stream Trout, Hampshire, England
Harvested by hand in Hampshire, Chalk Stream Trout are a quintessential British fish that is a sustainable, delicious and healthy option.
The secret to these beautiful trout are the world-famous Chalk Streams: the Test and Itchen. Spring water that has been filtered through the chalk downland into underground aquifers feed these rivers. The water is rated class A by the Environment Agency, the highest-achievable grade.
The fast-flowing ‘gin clear’ water provides the perfect environment to rear Chalk Stream Trout. Not only does this give them an exceptionally clean taste but the high flows mean they are very lean. Constant swimming replicates their natural habitat and gives them great muscle definition and low fat in the belly and flesh.
All the trout are reared from 100% British fry. In the two years it takes to reach the size of 2.5 to 3 kilos, the trout’s every need is tended to by farm manager, Pete, and his team. Their diligent attention to the welfare and husbandry ensures the highest quality and sustainability. Chalk Streams are unique environments; with just over 200 in the world, 98% of them are found in England. These rare environments must be respected. Water from the farm goes through settling canals that act like giant gravity filters ensuring when it flows back into the river it is still class-A rated. This is strictly monitored by the Environment Agency.
Trout from Chalk Stream Foods is MCS rated 1 and certified by Freedom Food, Global Gap and the British Trout Association. It has also been awarded ‘great taste producer’ status.
I visited Chalk Stream Trout Farm in July 2018 and hope you enjoy this video of this wonderful farm.
Mount Cook Alpine Salmon Farm, Mackenzie Country, New Zealand
Selecting Mt. Cook Alpine Salmon as my supplier was one of the easiest business decisions I have had to make. It took no more than a visit to confirm what I’d heard, that this was the finest salmon and the most environmentally-minded salmon farm on the planet. In fairness, Mr. Cook has the unbeatable advantage of being located in the most stunning, clean and natural location imaginable in the Southern Alps of New Zealand, a backdrop from nature against which other salmon producers could never compete!
But the Mt. Cook team marries a unique set of elements including innovation, respect the surrounding environment and a genuine respect for the salmon who are hand fed several times a day as they swim freely in pure, alpine water. This could be a huge business but the owners, a group of private individuals, choose to keep it small and do what they do as well as is humanly possible, without any adverse effect to nature. It was such a huge privilege to spend time with this passionate team, and I am honoured to be their only retail partner in Singapore.
Mt Cook Alpine Salmon are raised in the purest alpine waters of the Southern Alps of New Zealand. These Alpine Salmon are unique in the world, fit and healthy from constantly swimming in swift, fresh water currents. This exercise results in a firm-fleshed texture with a clean and subtle flavour. The water at Mt Cook is fast flowing glacier fed mineral water, and the location is the highest altitude salmon farm in the world. Only wilderness separates the farm from the mountains, with no agricultural or human run off or pollution. This is the perfect growing environment for King Salmon.
To ensure Mt Cook Alpine Salmon is the finest of all salmon, a specially designed first class feed from the Southern Ocean is used, with non-GMO or antibiotics. Mt. Cook Alpine Salmon are eco-sustainably farmed and raised in near perfect growing conditions high in the Alps of the South Island of New Zealand, with plenty of space, clean flowing water, and as little human intervention as possible.
The government issued a complete ban on the import of salmonoids and gametes into New Zealand since the early 1900's protects against introduction of diseases that have afflicted other salmon populations around the world. The fish are consequently not treated with any vaccines or antibiotics at any stage of their life cycle and they are naturally free from parasites. They are free of contaminants and are non-GMO and having lived only in pure glacial water all their lives, are free of chemicals, mercury and other heavy metals.
The Farm & Environment
At 1,969 feet above sea level, Mt Cook Alpine is the highest altitude salmon farm in the world. The farm is situated in man-made hydroelectric canals that run between several high alpine lakes in one of the most remote regions in the world. Where possible, solar power is used. It is a secondary user of water. - the primary use of water in the canals is to generate clean hydroelectric power.
The glacial and snow-fed water both above and below the farm is so pure that you can drink it. This farm has the highest water-flow of any salmon farm in the world. Mt Cook Alpine voluntarily test the water after it has passed through the farm against stringent New Zealand drinking water standards (the results are on their website). Believe it or not, you can in fact drink the water after it has passed through the farm. New Zealand does not have fresh water parasites that can harm humans.
"Top Ratings for Responsible Practices"
This salmon farm welcomes the scrutiny of others to review what they do, audit their processes and comment on their management practices.
- They are audited and approved by Global Food Safety Initiative – Recognised Certification Programme.
- They were the first salmon farm in Australasia to receive Best Aquaculture Practice Certification.
- Monterey Bay Aquarium has recently awarded Mt Cook Alpine Salmon with a ‘best choice’ green rating – acknowledgement of their environmentally responsible practices.
- Their modern processing plant is regularly audited by the New Zealand Governments exporting agency and retains the highest ranking accreditation.
Their best in class practices and duty of care to the environment, ensure their fish, wherever it is delivered in the world, will always meet the claim of being Nature’s finest tasting salmon.
I had the pleasure of visiting the farm for the second time in June 2018 and I hope you enjoy the video of my visit. Unfortunately, nature was against us as the sound of the high winds made recording voices tricky, but the video will, I hope, bring you closer to the source of this beautiful product.
Inverawe Smokehouses, Argyll, Scotland
The Inverawe Smokehouse is a family-run business established in 1974 by Robert & Rosie Campbell-Preston. Nestled at the foot of Ben Cruachan on the beautiful shores of Loch Etive, Inverawe uses time-honoured traditions to produce a fish that truly satisfies both the gourmet and connoisseur.
Nothing but salt and oak smoke add to the flavour of the final product. Inverawe's unique traditional oak smoking technique, along with a superb supply of fresh fish, results in a very special natural product that has earned its rightful place on the tables of the British Royal Household.
The Inverawe Smoked Salmon is produced from salmon that swim in strong tidal flows in the coastal waters off Argyll and the Shetland Isles in Scotland. Smaller, leaner, less fatty salmon with good texture are used as only these healthy, strong fish give a beautiful, superior texture and taste. While the rest of the world has sped up, our supplier prefers the more gradual pace of slow smoking, using a traditional, old fashioned smokehouse. Our Inverawe Smoked Mackerel Fillets and our Inverawe Smoked Haddock Fillets are from the Atlantic Ocean.
Inverawe Smokehouses is committed to reducing its environment impact. Integral to this is their fish sourcing policy. All of their salmon comes from farms which are committed to sustainable production. Their wild fish suppliers also understand their place in nature and actively seek to limit their impact. The key objective is to ensure the integrity of wild fish stocks.
The fresh fish are immediately filleted and transported to Inverawe's smokehouse which is nestled on the beautiful shores of Loch Etive in Scotland. Each fish is hand-cured and hung in brick kilns over oak-log fires, where it gently draws in the delicious smoky flavour. This time-honoured smoking method allows the fish to gently take up the gorgeous smoky aroma in its own unhurried time, giving the most delicious full-bodied oak-smoked flavour.
Inverawe Smokehouses Sustainability Policy
Inverawe Smokehouses is committed to reducing its environmental impact. Integral to this is their salmon sourcing policy. All of their salmon comes from farms which are also committed to sustainable production. The farms are located in areas with strong tidal flows in either the coastal waters off Argyll or the Shetland Isles. They understand their place in nature and actively seek to limit their impact. The key objective is to ensure the integrity of wild fish stocks and prevent pollution. They strive to achieve the highest standards of fish welfare and have eliminated use of antibiotics whilst ensuring low stocking densities which help to build stronger healthier fish. Feed comes from sustainable fishmeal sources and a low fat diet is used. Growth hormones are never used.
Inverawe Smokehouses’ slow smoking methods are most suited to smaller, leaner, less fatty fish with a good firm texture. Only these healthy, strong, prime, farmed fresh fish give the beautiful texture and taste our suppliers are known for. Both Inverawe Smokehouses and external suppliers are audited regularly to maintain the highest levels of sustainability, welfare and environmental practices.
Wild New Zealand Fish
Blue Cod MSC Certified
We buy our blue cod from a family run fishing company in Nelson in the South Island of New Zealand. The owner/operator fishermen catch this amazing tasting Blue Cod by baited pots or hand lines in the pristine Marlborough Sounds in the South Island. The longline fishing method creates no damage to the seabed and is arguably the most environmentally sensitive fishing method of all commercial fishing activity. The Blue Cod is then filleted by hand, packaged & blast frozen to maintain optimum condition, freshness & taste. This family business prides itself in adhering strictly to all management regimes enacted in the interests of sustainable fishing.
This family run business that we buy from is MSC certified. The MSC is an independent non-profit organisation which sets a standard for sustainable fishing. Fisheries that wish to demonstrate they are well managed and sustainable are assessed by a team of experts who are independent of both the fishery and the MSC. Seafood products can display the blue MSC ecolabel only if that seafood can be traced back through the supply chain to a fishery that has been certified against the MSC standard. The MSC's mission is to use its ecolabel and fishery certification program to contribute to the health of the world's oceans by recognising and rewarding sustainable fishing practices, influencing the choices people make when buying seafood, and working with partners to transform the seafood market to a sustainable basis.
Wild Ling and Wild Ray’s Bream are both line-caught throughout New Zealand to depths of 750m. The use of long-lines is in itself an incredible sustainable way of fishing.
Wild Swordfish come from the supremely clean waters off the West Coast of New Zealand. It is caught by local New Zealand fishermen using surface long-line methods that do not damage the seabed. There is also virtually no non-fish bycatch. The migration patterns of the swordfish result in a very short season from March to July. Our swordfish is approved for export to the USA. The US has stringent guidelines for acceptable mercury levels and this swordfish falls comfortably within those limits. Generally, the bigger the fish the higher the levels, but all the swordfish steaks we sell come from smaller fish and so the levels of mercury are low.
New Zealand Quota Management System (QMS) - all New Zealand fish are caught sustainably as catches are strictly controlled by the NZ QMS. Having been introduced in 1986, the NZ QMS system is recognised as one of the most effective in the world today.
Ocean Gem Prawns
We are extremely mindful of the widespread issues with prawns and shrimp in SE Asia, and the poor controls most farms apply in how the shellfish are fed and raised. With that in mind, we sourced these Ocean Gem prawns from a beautiful farm off the pollution-free waters of the Vietnam. The meticulously selected eggs are farm-raised under the most advanced farming methods using clean sea-water ponds, a structured feeding regime (with no chemicals or additives) and with full disease monitoring. They are harvested at peak size and flavour, giving them an intense sweet flavour. The entire processing is completed within a few hours of harvest, to lock in each individual prawn's freshness. State of the art processing techniques, together with quality management procedures, uphold the reliable quality of each prawn, benchmarked against the most stringent international standards. Ocean Gems Tiger Prawns surpass the standards set by the US FDA, EU and AQIS.