Recent times- A review

This time last year I was invited to participate in the first incantation of the MOMA markets on the rooftop of David Walsh’s amazing MONA complex. Aside from having lots of fun, and spreading the sustainable and ethical fishing message, I was continually impressed by the average punter expressing their desire for quality sashimi and seafood. We initially started out with traditional raw produce and then evolved, over a number of weeks, into a myriad of sushi, sashimi and cooked seafood dishes. My intention was to again participate this year, but the recent bushfires intervened.

In May 2012 we assisted Environment Tasmania in a gala fundraising dinner which was well-received and very successful with special thanks to my great friend Kylie Kwong and David Walsh’s incredible generosity along with his marvellous staff at Moorilla/MONA.

The Supertrawler debacle became public knowledge around the same time as this event and we all know the wonderful victory that people-power ensured…..although the Supertrawler has not gone away yet…and we must keep chipping away as she is still at Port Lincoln and her operators are still trying to morph her operation and dupe the public-bureaucrats into believing that her acting as a Mother-Ship and having smaller vessels fish into her is in some way a better result. I know I am a broken record but…they will still be using the same purse-seine techniques and pillaging the same volume of fish from the same area. When are our policy-makers going to understand that our oceanic resources are diamonds and not rocks……so that their maximum-possible value is achieved, instead of their current policy of bigger-is-better and more ‘efficient’ in harvesting large volumes….which results in ever-cheaper product and the resource being disgracefully devalued? The mass-catch technique used by the Supertrawler (and others) attains only 5 % of the premium price possible for that exact same product when its caught, handled and treated for the ever-increasing sashimi market. It is just beyond comprehension, and we need to keep fighting the fight guys.

On a much lighter note, Shannon Bennett  Matt Moran along with the outstanding people at Audi, asked if I would conduct one of my ‘Sustainable Catch, Prepare and Dine Onboard” fishing trips for 30 VIP guests during the Audi Hamilton Island Race week. The day was a spectacular success, as evidenced by the photo gallery below…and nobody wanted to go home! What a spectacular outing it was ! Here’s some comments:

“Cooking along side Matt Moran is always an inspiration and a boat trip with Mark always re affirms this. Mark has a way with nature that seems like to turning a tap on a nature show. You walk away with such a great feeling of respect and responsibility to look after Mother Nature. For Matt and I this always provides a great story for the plate. I urge anyone with a passion for great produce and an interest in where their food is sourced to take a trip on Mark’s boat, it truly is a once and a life time experience.”-  Shannon Bennett

“Thanks to Mark and the team, was a great day out on the water, caught some amazing cod and red emperor – can’t wait to do it again!!!” Matt Moran

“I recently had the enormous privilege with my wife to be invited to the most interesting and exclusive fishing trip ever. Among a group of very distinguished guests we had the honour to have 2 of the finest Chefs in Australia in Matt Moran and Shannon Bennett on board. But for me and my wife the highlight of the trip was the encounter with Mark Eather and the learning we got about the Iki-jime technique as well as Mark’s constant drive on sustainability in fishing. This clearly highlighted his passion and respect to mother earth we all should have without forgetting the delicious Sashimi Shannon prepared for us with the fresh caught fishes. An unforgettable moment with a truly passionate and genuine person in Mark. Keep on going my friend!- Patrick Boutellier

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Please note, that due to the recent bushfires, and my infrastructure losses as a consequence, I will not be taking any further bookings for similar outings until perhaps spring of this year (and then I hope to be back in full-swing again)…sadly we were devastated by the loss of factory, equipment, vessels and family home to the bushfires.

The wonderful support and offers of assistance has been overwhelming. I am currently exploring several avenues that will enable me to rebuild bigger-and-better so that the Dunalley community has some opportunity of continued employment prospects in the seafood industry. Sadly there are several businesses who do not intend to rebuild and I’d like to find a way to employ the people whose jobs have been lost. There are some really positive opportunities that very much in their infancy at present and I will keep you further informed as we progress.
In the mean-time we have improvised such that it is ‘business-as-usual’ and I so much appreciate your continued support. God Bless.

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Mark Eather

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