Tis the season to be sharing

December 19, 2019

Fishing tends to bring out the best in us so whether you are at home or away this summer there is an easy way to share your unwanted fish parts with someone who would relish the gift. There are thousands of people who have registered online to receive fish heads, frames or even the wings, the belly flaps. They would love a call from you.

Download the FreeFishHeads smartphone app from the app store or check out freefishheads.co.nz and follow the instructions. It’s easy.

Sometimes things don’t go according to plan or we run out of time to process the fish we catch. Other times we get excited and catch more than what we can use ourselves. Either way, the freefishheads option to share unwanted fish parts is useful so nothing goes to waste.

Ice is the fundamental ingredient for a successful sharing occasion. Slurry then ice your fish as soon as possible after capture. If you decide to fillet your fish at sea you can store the fillets, frames and heads separately, keeping all parts on ice until you get back to base.

Using the freefishheads app means you can easily call someone while you’re still out fishing and arrange to meet them back at the boat ramp, local camping ground or public space, at a certain time. Encourage them to bring a chilly bin and ice so they can maintain the fish parts they receive from you in premium condition as they travel home. Everyone’s a winner when we share the love this summer.

Making the most of your catch
Kiwis are slowly coming around to the idea of eating more than just the fillets from the fish they catch. If someone only takes the fillets and discards the rest of the fish that is a lot of waste. Depending on the species, this means up to 70% of the fish could be wasted. Utilising the whole fish is the best conservation practice as it means we make the most of our what we take from our marine environment.

There are numerous ways to utilise the whole fish. Removing the offal and gills before splitting and smoking is an easy way to use as much flesh as possible. Steaming the fish frame and head can help produce delicious stock for soups and chowders.

This time of year it’s all about barbeques so a whole fish wrapped in tin foil with herbs, garlic butter and sliced lemon is as good as it gets on the grill. If you have a BBQ with a hood that’s even better. Just put your fish parts in the BBQ with some wood chips, put it on low and close the lid. This doesn’t produce your traditional smoked fish but it does give you delicious, hot smoked fish that the kids can’t wait to wrap their lips around.

He ika he taonga – the gift of fish. If you’re not big on Santa or presents then giving your unwanted fish parts to a family that doesn’t fish themselves will be one of the best ways to share the love this season. Go to it.