Utilisation is key to the Kai Ika project
Until recently members of the Outboard Boating Club (OBC) discarded their fish heads and frames, while others in the community prize these parts of the fish for their sweet flesh. Hence the creation of the Kai Ika Project. The OBC now collects the unwanted fish heads and frames and Papatuanuku Marae collects them and shares throughout an appreciative local community.
To date, over 4000kg of fish heads and frames have been collected and distributed through the Kai Ika Project.
For many, fish heads and frames are a delicacy. In Maori culture, the fish head is referred to as “Rangatira Kai” or chiefly food. The Kai Ika Project ensures these mouth-watering morsels are delivered to families in our local community who will enjoy them.
Recently, the Manukau Sport Fishing Club (MSFC) also stepped up, big time. Their annual Westcoaster fishing competition was held in March with the Kai Ika Project being a benefactor.
For many club members, giving just heads and frames wasn’t enough. They proactively donated whole fish. Including the winning a 21lb snapper and the winning 14kg kingfish. A whopping 300kg was donated in a single weekend.
The simple pleasure of being able to give is rewarding. This is obviously not lost on MSFC or OBC members.
Lionel Hotene, Papatuanuku Marae, said “Words cannot express how happy we are!”
“It has given me a lot of confidence in the generosity of those who give, and give so well”.
Scott Macindoe, LegaSea Spokesperson stated, “Conservation is utilisation”.
“To conserve our fisheries we all need to strive for maximum respect and utilisation of the fish we land. Too often, these heads and frames end up over the back of the boat or sitting at the bottom of our garden. The Kai Ika Project shows their maximum value – as a food source for New Zealanders.”
An alternative way of maximising utilisation is with FreeFishHeads.co.nz.
Download the Free Fish Heads app on your phone, and you too can support others in your community by simply going fishing. On your return from a successful trip send a message and someone will meet you, relieve you of your heads and frames and ensure they are put to good use.
After all, it’s about respecting our fisheries. Make the most of what you catch – or give it to someone who will.