Christmas has a way of sneaking up on you. In case you haven’t checked your calendar recently, there’s only eight weeks left. With better weather arriving for most of us, and the pōhutukawa and rātā starting to bloom, thoughts should increasingly be turning to the holidays. Specifically, what will be pride of place on your dinner table or in the takeaway box at the beach. 

Here are some reasons why choosing seafood for your summer dinner table (or takeaway order) is a good choice: 

Wild-caught New Zealand seafood is one of the most sustainable proteins out there.

According to a recent study by AgResearch, our deepwater seafood has the lowest carbon footprint (kg of carbon emissions per 100g of protein) of many other animal protein/foods produced in New Zealand (such as beef, lamb and milk). Even better, almost 50% of seafood caught in New Zealand is MSC certified (compared to just 15% of seafood globally). This includes our hoki fishery, which has been MSC certified since 2001. 

Our fish of the month is snapper (tāmure), the quintessential summer fish that needs no introduction. 

Snapper is a perennially popular choice for serving at Christmas. The peak fishing season is between October and January in inshore areas around the country, and snapper are particularly plentiful throughout the top of the North and South islands. 

Another great choice for summer kaimoana is blue cod (rāwaru). 

Endemic to the coastal waters of New Zealand, the blue cod is actually a type of sand perch and is considered a South Island delicacy. Stewart Island, the Chatham Islands, and along the Fiordland coast are particularly abundant locations. Lean, nutritious and a good source of protein, blue cod are a mild and flaky fish that suits almost all cooking techniques.  

Whatever you choose, when buying local seafood, you’re supporting your local fishers and communities. 

Nowhere in New Zealand is more than 130 kilometres from the coast. Wherever you live, it’s possible to get fresh, locally caught seafood with minimal ‘food miles’ from boat to plate. When you support local seafood, you’re supporting local jobs in your community, ensuring you can #knowyourfisher and keep kaimoana in Aotearoa.