I love fish and I believe that fresh is best. But lately we've been experimenting with frozen fish because it is cheaper and new technology means it has come a long way from those bland frozen pieces we used to get in my childhood. This offering is new to the supermarket freezers and packaged to catch your eye. But it comes from Indonesia via an Australian company whose website is still under construction, so I was deeply suspicious of this product.
By George Goldband Snapper Fillets - $24.99 for 750g Six portions
Goldband snapper (Pristipomoides multidens)
Its slightly pink scales show this is not snapper as we know it down here in New Zealand. This is another breed that lives in tropical waters to the north and west of Australia and, in this case, Indonesia, which is where this fish comes from.
This snapper is sustainable according to sustainableseafood.org.aus, although, by its own admission, there isn't a lot of information on their stocks. The packaging on this label says they are "wild caught" which simply means they are caught at sea rather than harvested from a farm.
It is impossible to know how these fish were caught in Indonesia, but in Australia they are mainly caught using fish traps, which have minimal impact on the sea floor and on protected species. A small proportion of goldband snapper are caught using line methods.
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Initially I was horrified that this product came from Indonesia because I am deeply suspicious of the way fish is caught in Asia. But it turns out the stocks are plentiful and the way they are caught, as far as I could tell, is not too damaging to the sea floor.
Fish is one of the healthiest foods we can eat and unfortunately it is very pricey in this country with snapper being sold for as much as $40 per kg. So having these in the freezer isn't such a bad idea and we found they tasted really nice. The fillets also still have their skin on, which makes it great for frying, and are individually wrapped and different sizes, which makes it easy to take just one or two out to defrost for dinner.