Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Hoki Fish : Fearing Fillet-o-Fish Follies


Sure, it's fish, but do you know what kind of fish? Image from Flickr.

Most people have never heard of, much less seen a Hoki fish - at least, not until it's blended, breaded, and on a bun. However, this ugly little fish has been the center of a very big environmental controversy. Two of sustainability's biggest players are locked head-to-head, one saying the Hoki fish is environmentalism's equivalent of low interest loans, easy to get and easy to replace. The other side claims Hoki fish are more like same day payday loans - easy to get, but sometimes very difficult to justify.

Hoki Fish is just part of your fish stick

When you go to your favorite burger joint, you'll most likely see a fishwich, fillet-o-fish, or fishstick option. While at one point these sticks of fishy flavor were entirely whitefish cod, they rarely are anymore. Cod supplies have been dropping for years - in 2006, scientists actually called for a complete ban. Instead of one fish, fish fillets are usually a blend of Hoki fish, pollock, and other whitefish. Once caught, these fish are sent to factories where they are blended with each other, pressed into shapes, breaded, frozen, and sent off to end up on your plate.

Defining Hoki Fish's sustainability

The issue with Hoki fish comes when examining questions of sustainability. Two of the world's largest environmental groups that deal with fish, the World Wildlife Fund and Marine Stewardship Council disagree on the issue of Hoki fish. The World Wildlife Fund has stated that they believe the Moki is being over fished, and asked for the Marine Stewardship Council to remove the "sustainability certification" from Hoki fish. The Stewardship Council, however, certified Hoki fish as "sustainable" for the next five years. The New Zealand government has chosen to remain fairly neutral - they have not officially declared Hoki fish as "over fished" but they did reduce the allowable catch from 275,000 tons to 100,000 tons. ... click here to read the rest of the article titled "Hoki Fish : Fearing Fillet-o-Fish Follies"

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