Your Chance To Help Take Marlin Off the Menu
THE International Game Fishing Association has for some years now successfully run a campaign in the US to lobby restaurants to avoid using marlin. This campaign, Take Marlin Off The Menu, has been a great success in America, highlighting to the non-fishing public the importance of protecting these iconic gamefish. Proactive campaigns like this also help portray anglers as being responsible and environmentally conscious, an important issue we all need to consider in the face of increasingly vehement attacks on our sport by anti-fishing extremists.
You can find out more about the IGFA’s campaign at http://www.takemarlinoffthemenu.org/home.
As regular readers will know, Fisho has been leading the charge to help save our own marlin stocks by campaigning vigorously against the commercial long-lining of striped marlin.
To take this one step further, we’re planning our own campaign to educate chefs and restaurants against using marlin on their menus.
If there is reduced demand for striped marlin by the restaurant trade, then hopefully this will result in making our billfish less profitable for the long liners.
This isn’t planned as any sort of radical, underground campaign like you’d see staged by animal rights nuts like PETA. We don’t blame or criticise chefs and restaurant for using marlin – after all, if they're not fishos they probably don’t understand the issues involved. Instead, we just want to politely point out the fact that these are great gamefish which should be protected and revered, not slaughtered on hooks of death and turned into sushi. We also want to highlight to the chefs and restaurant owners the fact that there are significant environmental concerns associated with commercial exploitation of marlin. For example, there is a large bycatch of “protected” blue and black marlin associated with the striped marlin fishery and, worryingly, an almost total lack of scientific knowledge about striped marlin stocks. Would chefs want to be seen serving their clientele environmentally unsustainable fish? Probably not.
What we plan to do is allow you guys to download a letter and email it to the restaurants which feature marlin on their menu.
The first restaurant to feature in this campaign is Restaurant Balzac, a French inspired eatery in Randwick in Sydney. Run by award winning chef Matt Kemp, Balzac currently features “Grilled Marlin with Sweet & Sour Peppers” on its lunchtime menu.
Over coming weeks we’ll highlight other restaurants which have marlin on their menus and with your help ask them to take it off!
You are also invited to send in details of any restaurants you come across which feature unsustainable fish on their menus so we can add them to our hit list. You can also provide details of restaurants which promote sustainable use of seafood – after all, we should encourage chefs who are doing the right thing, right!
Please take the time to get involved in this campaign. It will help reduce commercial pressure on our gamefish stocks.
The Fisho team.