New website GoodFishBadFish is giving power back to seafood lovers by separating good from bad in Melbourne’s sustainable fish market. The site was created by Esposito chef Oliver Edwards and head waiter Beth Bicknell, who saw a knowledge gap while working in the food industry.
"A sustainable species is one that can withstand fishing pressures and is fished using methods that don’t damage the environment," Oliver says.
GoodFishBadFish demystifies the fishing process from sea to plate in three steps. For the scientifically minded, it explains which fishing techniques are environmentally harmful.
"We explain bycatch, for example, which is a massive issue because it catches sea life in the fishing nets," Oliver explains.
Cooking enthusiasts can look up each fish type using a fish converter. The converter shows how sustainable each species is, alternatives for unsustainable species as well as cooking techniques for each fish.
“We make the sustainable options for each fish relevant to cooking techniques such as boiling, frying or baking," Oliver says.
Oliver and Beth also encourage sustainability in the restaurant world. They have developed restaurant reviews to help consumers find where to dine on sustainable seafood.
"We interview the head chef and find out how much each restaurant takes sustainability into account when they make their menus and purchasing choices," Beth says.
“We rate the restaurants according to the traceability of the fish, the correct usage of fish names, how sustainably the fish is farmed and if the species are sustainable themselves,” Oliver adds.
The pair hopes GoodFishBadFish will empower consumers to demand better fishing practices.
"By educating consumers, you change demand because you influence policy makers, retailers and ultimately fishermen themselves," Oliver says.