Renowned Chef Vanessa Bayma Shares Tips On Making Sustainable Seafood Choices

Renowned Chef Vanessa Bayma Shares Tips On Making Sustainable Seafood Choices

Chef Bayma champions the preservation of our oceans while still enjoying the delicious flavors of seafood

As the world marks World Ocean Day on June 8, 2023, renowned private chef Vanessa Bayma aims to raise awareness of the sustainable consumption of marine resources and encourage individuals to make sustainable seafood choices.

With her culinary expertise and dedication to environmental stewardship, Chef Bayma champions the preservation of our oceans while still enjoying the delicious flavors of seafood. 

In a world where the health of our oceans is increasingly threatened, it is of utmost importance to safeguard our oceans and marine ecosystems.

Climate Action, One Recipe at a Time

World Ocean Day serves as a global reminder of the critical role oceans play in sustaining life on Earth. With a strong conviction to help build a better tomorrow, Chef Vanessa Bayma shares five steps to help take responsible actions to preserve the planet, this World Oceans Day.

Preserving Oceans for Future Generations

By making conscious choices, such as selecting seafood from well-managed fisheries and farms that prioritize sustainable practices, individuals can contribute to the preservation of marine ecosystems, ensuring the long-term viability of seafood resources, promoting human health, and supporting the economic well-being of fishing communities.

Exploring Sustainable Seafood Selections

When it comes to selecting seafood in the GCC region, it is important to read the labels of the products, looking for indicators such as “wild-caught”, “line-caught”, or “responsibly farmed” to ensure sustainable fishing and farming practices.

Moqueca - Brazilian Fish Stew
Moqueca - Brazilian Fish Stew

Additionally, look for local and international eco-certifications such as the Gulf Sustainable Fisheries Code (GSFC) and Marine Stewardship Council (MSC), which set guidelines for sustainable fishing practices and evaluate fisheries against rigorous sustainability criteria.

This helps individuals and businesses make informed purchasing decisions that support the preservation of marine ecosystems.

Tasting the Essence of the Gulf

By opting for seafood that is in season within the region, consumers can reduce food miles and support the local economy.

Choosing locally caught fish from sustainable sources, such as orange-spotted trevally, yellow fin seabream, pink ear emperor, yellow bar angelfish, black-streaked monocle bream, two-bar seabream, and blackspotted rubberlip helps minimize the environmental impact associated with over-fishing and long-distance transportation.

It also allows individuals to connect with the rich culinary heritage of the region, savoring the freshest flavors from the surrounding waters.

Sustainable seafood choices

When it comes to making sustainable seafood choices, it's important to be mindful of overfished species and opt for sustainable alternatives. Overfishing can have detrimental effects on marine ecosystems and the long-term viability of seafood resources.

To help guide your choices, here are some examples of overfished species and their sustainable counterparts in the GCC:

Waste-Less Cooking

By adopting mindful practices in our kitchens, we can minimize food waste and contribute to a more sustainable seafood industry. Start by thoughtfully planning your meals by considering portion sizes to cut back on food waste.

When you’re cooking with fish or seafood at home, get creative with seafood-based recipes to transform any remnants into new culinary delights, and always store your seafood properly to maintain freshness.

When it comes to cooking seafood, embrace the concept of nose-to-tail or fin-to-fin cooking, using offcuts to create flavorful stocks and broths, adding depth to future seafood dishes.

If you have a garden, consider closing the loop and give back to the earth by using fish scraps and shrimp shells to create organic compost, further reducing your environmental impact.

"I believe in minimizing waste, so I keep a bag of vegetable and meat trimmings in my fridge that I use to make flavorful stocks. I collect fish heads and bones for a special Russian-Ukrainian soup," Ms Bayma said.

Boiling salmon fish heads with dill, parsley, red peppers, onion, garlic, ginger (for its health benefits), and potatoes creates a comforting and nourishing broth. Once the bones are removed, I strain the soup through a cheesecloth bag for a clear and satisfying result.

Chef Vanessa Bayma is recognised for her exquisite culinary creations and commitment to sustainability. Her passion for food extends beyond taste and presentation, encompassing the broader impact of our choices on the environment.

Through her expertise and influence, Chef Bayma seeks to inspire others to make conscious decisions that contribute to the health and longevity of our oceans.

Read More: Mariam Almheiri Calls for Urgent Global Action on Food Security and Climate

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