Madai is easily distinguished by its beautiful, coppery-red color. It is in the sea bream family, with fish like porgy and European daurade. This highly iconic Japanese fish is prized for it sushi-grade flesh and the ability to compliment all kinds of cuisine, especially in raw applications. Many times it is prepared for important events and holidays in Japan like weddings and New Years celebrations, being that it is referred to as a “celebration” or “luxury” fish. There are many types of these sea bream, or “tai,” in waters off the coast of Japan, but madai is a favorite, and is usually referred to as “genuine tai.” Madai is one of the most iconic and celebrated tai in Japanese cuisine, dating back thousands of years.
With a strong and historic popularity, aquaculture has made this species available around the world without the threat of overfishing the wild population. Our madai are farmed in southern Japan in open-water pens, generally about 2 to 8 pounds in size. They are never frozen, always arriving fresh here in New York, offering a taste of authentic, celebrated, Japanese cuisine.
Caught off the coast of New Zealand and Australia, golden snapper are harvested by small fishing vessels using longlines, out only for a day at a time, sometimes as little as six hours. Short trips ensure the best quality and ultimate freshness for these fish. Upon being brought aboard, they are killed instantly and painlessly with a quick spike through their brain, a simple process known as “iki-jime.” With this technique, the meat of the fillets is preserved because the muscles stop moving immediately, and the blood is drawn to the gut. This makes for a clean fillet that is preserved for a “just caught” taste when eaten raw or cooked. Packed in special boxes known as “iki-bins,” golden snapper are well preserved from start to finish, ensuring a high-quality fish every time. Golden snappers range in size from three to eight pounds, and many of them come from Lee Fisheries out of Leigh, New Zealand on the North Island. This tight-knit, industry-conscious community has perfected these processes over generations of skill and knowledge development.
The F/V Coral V, is one of the dayboat longliners that catch golden snapper off the coast of New Zealand. This boat fishes north of Auckland, generally from the Hauraki Gulf up through the warmer waters and rocky coastlines of Northland. This boat is owned by Dave Moore, a well-known fisherman from Leigh. As a strong industry advocate, Moore has a prominent voice in the regional economy and fisheries management. With a clear and focused outlook on future management of species like golden snapper, he has cultivated the ability to combine science and real industry experience from other fishermen to gain common ground and a substantial voice in fisheries management for the area. Down-to-earth, honest conversation that includes as many angles of the trade as possible combines to form a group of informed experts that can effectively manage and defend their livelihoods for future generations, or as Moore calls it, “100 year thinking."
Monday, February 16, Monteray Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch program labeled marine-farmed Chinook Salmon from New Zealand a Best Choice for consumers. This is the first and only ocean-farmed salmon to be given a Best Choice, or Green, rating, which is the highest possible.
Pierless Fish is happy to announce that encompassed in this source is Ōra King Salmon, one of our products that is a premium, high-quality salmon raised by the New Zealand King Salmon Company in the South Island’s Marlborough Sounds. The species of Chinook Salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha) accounts for only half a percent of the world’s salmon population, being one that truly is king – a larger size, a richer flavor, and a higher fat content than other salmon species. The caretakers of Ōra King selectively breed the salmon for these traits, but also color, nutritional content, and overall quality, hand-selecting it to be the best culinary product possible.
In the wild, five kilograms of whole fish are needed to produce one kilogram of salmon. On the contrary, the salmon produced by the New Zealand King Salmon Company yields 1.4 kilograms of salmon to every 1 kilogram of fish protein used in the fish’s diet, all of which comes from sustainable fisheries that are scientifically managed. With a promise of sustainability and a business model to support it, Ōra King is a net producer of marine protein.
Ōra King Salmon is raised free of any chemicals or antibiotics at a site managed with stringent biosecurity measures both on a local and national level – the Marlborough Sounds. After initial development in spring-fed hatcheries, the smolt are carefully transferred to marine net pens in the Sounds. Only 2% of the pen space is fish biomass – the remaining 98% is flowing water, which ensures their health, taste, and quality as they mature to adults.
Seafood Watch has acknowledged the precision and devotion to the quality of these fish – a truly sustainable, traceable, and premium product without any negative effects to the environment, such as disrupting wild salmon populations or polluting local water. Meticulously designed to be a premium, year-round product, Ōra King Salmon now has the support of a globally renowned recommendation as a choice consumers can feel confident about purchasing and eating – not only a choice that is conscious of health, but also of the environment.