By Sonia Isotov
Starting August 1, Merriman’s Restaurants will offer a daily “Sustainable Seafood Special” consisting of a 3-ounce piece of wild Hawaii-caught fish paired with 3-ounces of locally-raised seafood or fish.
The Sustainable Seafood Special is an effort to raise awareness on the importance of sustainable fishing practices in Hawaii. The new special gives diners the option to make more earth friendly choices.
This company-wide and state-wide sustainable seafood initiative is a collaboration between Merriman’s and Handcrafted Restaurants and includes Merriman’s Kapalua and Monkeypod Kitchen by Merriman in Wailea. On the Big Island, the special includes Merriman’s Waimea and on Kauai, Merriman’s Fish House in Poipu.
With this initiative, Merriman’s Restaurants is making a pledge to support for the Hawaii Fish Trust Project and sustainable seafood efforts in Hawaii.
“Reducing the portion of wild fish on your plate increases the health of Hawaii’s wild fish stocks,” said Peter Merriman, the chef owner of Merriman Restaurants, in a written statement. “We love Hawaii’s fish, and we want everyone to be able to enjoy these fish for years to come.”
Locally-raised options such as Kaua’i prawns and Big Island Kampachi, among others will find their way onto the menu, paired with wild Hawaii caught favorites such as mahi-mahi, opakapaka, lehi, monchong, uku, ono, and opah, among others.
“Continuing to use wild caught fish, just less of it allows us to support local fisherman and conserve at the same time,” added Merriman.
The Pacific Whale Foundation makes available a downloadable copy of the Hawaii Seafood Watch Card, along with a Sushi Seafood Watch Card. The Foundation encourages shoppers and diners to void fish that has been over-fished or caught in an illegal or unregulated way, or that is harvest in ways that cause damage to the ocean habitat or other marine specials.
In addition to the sustainable seafood specials, Merriman’s Restaurants will demonstrate their commitment to the health of Hawaii’s fisheries by making an initial $5,000 donation to Conservation International’s Hawaii Fish Trust project, which works to restore nearshore seafood security in Hawaii and supports sustainable fishing practices.
“Conservation International (CI) is thrilled to partner with Merriman’s Restaurants to promote its sustainable seafood initiative,” says Jason Philibotte, CI’s Hawaii Fish Trust Director.
“We applaud Merriman’s leadership in supporting the health of Hawaii’s wild fisheries, supporting local fishermen, and seeking the most sustainable sources of locally-produced seafood currently available.”
Merriman’s Restaurants are committed to other ways of ensuring each establishment supports sustainable fishing practices. Purchasing only “Day Boat fish,” caught locally through short line trolling methods and offering two portion sizes on their regular menus eliminates wasted fish.
“We can all play a role in preserving the health of our oceans, even in the small everyday choices we make, like what fish we eat and how much we eat of it,” said Merriman.