Merriman's Restaurants group will soon run with its first companywide sustainable seafood initiative in a pledge of support for the Hawaii Fish Trust Project and its efforts in our island state.
On Maui, participating restaurants include Merriman's Kapalua, located on an oceanfront promontory on Kapalua Bay, and Monkeypod Kitchen by Merriman in the Wailea Gateway shopping center. Diners will also find the program at the original Merriman's in Waimea on the Big Island and at Merriman's on Kauai.
Starting Wednesday through the end of September, the above-mentioned restaurants will each offer a daily special of sustainable seafood, consisting of a three-ounce piece of wild Hawaii-caught fish that will be paired with three ounces of locally-raised seafood or fish.
Chef de Cuisine Ricky Sakoda showcases fresh catch with sweet Kauai prawn and fresh clams in shell at the oceanfront restaurant.
The Maui News / CARLA TRACY photo
"Reducing the portion of wild fish on your plate increases the health of Hawaii's wild fish stocks," says acclaimed chef and owner Peter Merriman. "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 sweet Kauai prawns and Big Island kampachi, among others, will find their way onto the menu.
These farm-raised options will be paired with wild Hawaii caught favorites such as mahimahi, opakapaka, lehi, uku, monchong, ono and opah, to name a few.
"Continuing to use wild caught fish, just less of it, allows us to support local fisherman and conserve at the same time," adds Merriman.
In addition to the sustainable seafood specials, the famous restaurateur who is one of the 12 founding members of the Hawaii Regional Cuisine movement will demonstrate his commitment to the health of Hawaii's fisheries by making an initial $5,000 donation to Conservation International's Hawaii Fish Trust Project.
The project works to restore near shore seafood security in Hawaii and supports sustainable fishing practices.
"Conservation International is thrilled to partner with Merriman's Restaurants to promote its sustainable seafood initiative," says Jason Philibotte, director.
"We applaud his 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 also purchases only "day-boat fish," caught locally through short line trolling methods. "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," adds Merriman.