Sam Judd

Comment on the environment from nzherald.co.nz columnist Sam Judd

Sam Judd: Delicious rubbish

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How many fishermen out there have thrown fish heads over the side of the boat, onto the beach, or nonchalantly crept out to the rubbish bin while no one was looking?

Each year, fishing boats have to go further and further afield to meet the demands of a growing human population with a penchant for fish. A great number of people follow the pescetarian diet - vegetarians who eat fish.

About half the weight of the fish we catch is in the frames (bones) and head, while the other half is in the fillets. Most people take their fillets and dump the rest. This is so commonplace that it has almost become a cultural norm to litter our beaches with rotting skeletons from the sea.

It certainly isn't the most pleasant of experiences to watch your kids stumble upon a stinky rotten fish corpse when they are playing at the beach. Let alone having your beloved pooch discover one before you manage to prevent him from rolling around in it then gorge himself until you are able to restrain him.

But those in the know are aware that the heads are the best part of a fish. Pieces of meat around the cheekbones and on the top of the head are actually the softest and best meat of the whole animal.

With this in mind, dumping of fish heads is a considerable waste. Extreme fisherman Matt Watson realised this and started a very clever website to combat this loss of resources. Check out www.freefishheads.co.nz

This has been created to provide a place for people who don't want fish heads, to give them to people who do.

Smoked fish frames are amazing (especially with species such as) and boiled up frames can make an excellent base for a fish curry too.

Although Watson can be credited with killing a vast number of fish from the ocean, he - perhaps more than anyone else apart from commercial fishermen - relies on fish survival just like we all do.

So next time you catch a fish, take a look at www.freefishheads.co.nz and see if there is someone that will find your rubbish delicious.

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