The kingfish, one of Australia’s most iconic species, has gone on the menu in restaurants around the country and is now being touted as the new gold standard in the seafood industry.
Key points:Kingfish sold in restaurants across the country have been sold as gold standardKingfish have become a staple in Australian cuisineThe fish is also being touted by the government as a ‘gold standard’ in the industryThe federal government has introduced a ban on using the fish as bait in the food supplyKingfish is one of the biggest fish in the world and is a staple of the Australian seafood industry, with about 50 per cent of the nation’s catch consumed in restaurants.
But as the industry struggles to compete with the demand for seafood that comes from around the world, it has faced problems with the way it is raised.
Key highlights:The Australian Seafood Institute has said that Kingfish have lost about 80 per cent more weight than their wild counterparts over the last five years.
A report commissioned by the Australian Government and published in July this year said the fish was now worth less than the equivalent of a year’s worth of rice, or $13.50.
A review of the industry by the federal government last year recommended banning the use of the fish for bait.
But that decision has been withdrawn.
The Federal Government has also launched a moratorium on the use and sale of Kingfish.
Key factsKingfish are the largest and fastest-growing fish on Earth and are caught in large numbers in far eastern Australia and across the Pacific Ocean.
In the first decade of commercial fishery, the fish made up about two-thirds of Australian catch, but in 2017, it had fallen to less than one per cent.
But there are now concerns that it is going the way of the dodo and is in decline.
The federal Government has called for a moratorium and said that the fish is being unfairly exploited.
The fish, which is native to Australia’s north-west, was first introduced to Australia in the 1940s and has become a popular food in the country.
The Government’s Seafood Policy Review 2016 recommended that Kingfishers be banned in the fish supply.
The National Seafood Industry Council said in a statement it is now calling on the federal Government to reconsider its decision.
“In light of the latest evidence that the Kingfish is in declining health, we believe the best course of action is to withdraw the Kingfisher ban from the market,” it said.
The Council is urging the Federal Government to suspend the ban and support the industry to find a sustainable way to supply Kingfishing stocks.