PRAWN GUIDE, make better choices


I am likely to be cooking prawns sometime over the Christmas period, and not just any prawns.

Those of you who read The Age (a Melbourne newspaper) may have read:

Date December 15, 2015

Woolies, Coles, Aldi caught up in child labour scandal

Woolworths, Coles and Aldi are embroiled in a child labour scandal, with all three supermarket chains confirming they sell prawns or seafood supplied by a Thai company at the centre of the allegations.

Graphic evidence of forced labour, including child labour, has been uncovered at a prawn peeling factory owned by major seafood supplier Thai Union.

An investigation by Associated Press found hundreds of workers at the company’s factories working under poor conditions with some workers, mainly from Myanmar, locked inside or otherwise unable to leave the factory……

I am always fussy about the prawns I buy.


You may be interested in this Prawn Guide:

This guide will help you choose more sustainable and ethical prawns this Summer.

 Other useful sites:

RED MULLET OR GARFISH with all the usual Sicilian suspects, and yet another PESCE AL FORNO (Fish Cooked In The Oven).

Garfish are found right around the coast of Australia and in the freshwater reaches of some rivers. They have a sweet and delicate flavour, low oil content and a fine texture. They are best cooked whole and cooked quickly so the retain their moisture.


Unfortunately, numbers appear to have declined in certain parts of Australia (overfished in NSW and concerns in SA). They are a very popular fish in South Australia; having lived there and knowing some keen fishers, I am very familiar with using a rod and float-suspended baits to catch this fish – it responds well to a berley mix of pollard, crushed wheat or breadcrumbs, especially if a little fish oil is added and wiggly maggots on to small hooks (not my favourite). The Government of South Australia has now banned commercial netting of two Eyre Peninsula fisheries and in most of the coastal waters off Yorke Peninsula. At the time of writing, numbers are still reasonable in Victoria but we must take care that they are caught in a sustainable way.

When cleaning the fish the gut must be removed promptly to avoid staining of the flesh.

I particularly like garfish cooked whole. Usually I like to quickly fry or wrap them in foil and grill them over an open fire, but this time I want less fuss. I want to have them ready to cook when my guest arrives and slip them into the oven at the appropriate time.

Last time I cooked red mullet (trigle) using this recipe.

Recipe= 3 fish for 3 people .



whole small fish, 3
extra virgin olive oil, ½ cup
anchovy fillets, 2 chopped
capers, 2 tbs
white wine, 2 tbs
garlic clove, 1 chopped,
parsley chopped, 2 tbs
pine nuts, ½ cup
salt and pepper, to taste
soft white breadcrumbs, 1 cup, toasted in a frypan with ½ cup of oil.


Preheat the oven 200 C.
Mix all of the ingredients above except for the breadcrumbs and the wine.
Oil an ovenproof dish, place the fish in the dish and add the mixed ingredients.
Drizzle the white wine on top. Cover with foil and bake for 15 minutes.
Remove foil, sprinkle with breadcrumbs and bake for 5 minutes more.

Trigle (red mullet) in Catania Fish Market


WHERE I BUY MY SUSTAINABLE FISH (Happy Tuna, Queen Victoria Market)

I have always established and maintained a good relationship with all the businesses from whom I buy my produce and have been rewarded – I get very good service and the freshest produce. My fish vendor is a great example.
I consider myself very fortunate.

The seafood is always fresh, the small business is family run, and the sellers show respect for the product. I always know what I am buying because the names of the fish are clearly displayed (From 30 October 2007, The Australian Fish Names Standard – a joint initiative by the seafood industry and the Commonwealth Government – has required vendors and restaurants to use correct, nationally uniform names for all fish). Sometimes their labels also inform the buyer where they have been caught; I also know that I can always ask information about all the fish I purchase.


At my fish vendor’s, from the counter, I can easily see whole fish being cleaned and cut into saleable portions. As part of the service, when I buy whole fish, I am asked if I would like it filleted on the spot or the few bones removed from the fillets and I know I can request different cuts or ask to vary the size of the portions without feeling embarrassed. I could not wish for better service from all the staff.

The best seafood is fresh, local and what is in season.

My first choice is to select fish, which are not in danger of extinction – sustainable fish.

I do not buy frozen or imported seafood and I am also very fussy about aquaculture.

Naples fish market 4

How fish is caught is crucial to ecological sustainability. The most common methods of commercial fishing are trawling, dredging, netting and trapping – all of which can have considerable impact through the bycatch (other fish and marine life and non-target species). All trawling and dredging damage the seafloor and seabed habitats. Wild fish, line caught (hook and line method) is the preferred, least evasive method of fishing and if I want quality produce, and if I wish to encourage Australian fishers to use more sustainable methods of fishing, I am prepared to pay for it. This may not always mean that I can afford my first choice of fish, however, in spite of my fish vendor being a small business, I can always find a selection of sustainable fish from the better choice category (classification used in the publication, Australia’s Sustainable Seafood Guide, by the Australian Conservation Society – AMCS).

There are specific websites/resources listing sustainable seafood in different countries and fortunately buyers are beginning to take greater interest .







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