Hawaii Seafood Month: How to eat local and sustainable

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October is National Seafood Month, so it’s a perfect time to spotlight sustainable seafood and the ocean ecosystem. After all, we want to keep eating this deliciousness for generations to come, right?

hiseafoodmonth1finalThe first ever Hawaii Seafood Month shows how. It brings together Conservation International Hawaii, the Hawaii Seafood Council, the Ulupono Initiative and over 50 local restaurants, retailers and seafood businesses to serve local sustainable choices, and it comes with a new app that tells you about what you’re eating.

Eating local sustainable seafood is not exactly a hardship. Hawaii’s abundance includes bigeye tuna (ahi), opah, amaebi, kampachi and more. Which makes the following something of a shock. “Over 60 percent of seafood consumed in Hawaii is imported,” says Brooks Takenaka of United Fishing Agency, a.k.a. Honolulu’s fish auction. “We want to introduce seafood that is local and sustainable that you can use in place of an imported fish.”

Wednesday night’s launch party at MW Restaurant helped raise awareness and money for the the Hawaii Seafood Council.

The kickoff to Hawaii Seafood Month at MW Restaurant included speakers, Brooks Takenaka of the United Fishing Agency, Jan Yoshioka of Conservation Internation- Hawaii and Dr. John Kaneko of the Hawaii Seafood Council.

Brooks Takenaka of the United Fishing Agency, Jan Yoshioka of Conservation International Hawaii and John Kaneko of the Hawaii Seafood Council.

Participating businesses have QR codes that you scan for information about the local seafood served, sold and distributed. The web app This Fish compiles info about locally caught and harvested seafood. It shows exactly what you’re buying and traces it back to its harvest, right down to the name of the person who caught it.

Scan these QR codes to find out where the seafood was caught, the name of the fisherman, how the catch was harvested, where it was processed.

Scan these QR codes to find out where the seafood was caught, the name of the fisherman, how the catch was harvested, where it was processed.

Example from the This Fish app: Last night's opelu was harvested by Kukulu Kuahuia by hoop net in southern Kona and processed at Local I'a Hawaii; at MW Restaurant kickoff party guest chef Lee Anne Wong turned it into a dish of cured opelu with paiai, luau, coconut and chilles.

Example from the This Fish app: Last night’s opelu was harvested by Kukulu Kuahuia by hoop net in southern Kona and processed at Local I‘a Hawaii; at MW Restaurant kickoff party guest chef Lee Anne Wong turned it into a dish of cured opelu with paiai, luau, coconut and chilles.

When you buy or eat local seafood at participating businesses, post a photo on Instagram or Twitter using the hashtag #HISeafoodMonth to enter into a drawing for gift certificates to participating restaurants and retailers. Hawaii Seafood Month continues through October with delicious dishes and events across the state.

Here the list of participating restaurants, retailers and distributors.

Participating restaurants will be serving up dishes of local, sustainable seafood during October. MW's Wade Ueoka made this sweet amaebi with pickled Hamakua eryngi, mushrooms, nagaimo and potato.

Participating restaurants will be serving up dishes of local, sustainable seafood during October. MW’s Wade Ueoka made this sweet amaebi with pickled Hamakua eryngi, mushrooms, nagaimo and potato.