It’s a beautiful thing when keen fishermen and a marae work together to feed local communities. Since the inception of the Kai Ika project, they have distributed over 135,000 kgs of fish parts to feed Auckland families.
Back in 2016, the Outboard Boating Club of Auckland was searching for a sustainable way to deal with all the post-filleting fish parts being wasted by club members. So a head-to-tail solution was created to make people more appreciative of the fish they catch.
The Outboard Boating Club collaborated with LegaSea and Papatuanuku Kokiri marae to create the Kai Ika Project. This initiative provides fish filleting services and uses the leftover kai moana for a variety of food and gardening purposes.
In the first COVID-19 lockdown in early 2020, the economic impact led to increased unemployment and a surge in demand for protein from Kai Ika. A call-out was made, and suddenly they went from distributing 250kgs of fish parts a week to over 1000kgs thanks to the support of Moana Fisheries and Sanford and Sons Fishmonger.
Kai Ika in action
The Kai Ika team in conjunction with Papatuanuku Kokiri marae collects and distributes the fish heads and frames to appreciative families around Auckland, who value these fish parts. Other parts of the fish are used to make nutritious fish stock and the famous Kai Ika fish soup. The offal is separated out to be used as organic fertiliser in the marae community gardens, where there is a focus on regenerative gardening practices.
If you would like to become part of this sustainability action, next time you’ve got a catch, come down to the Kai Ika filleting trailer at Z Pier. Alternatively, contact them so they can collect your fish from your boat at the Z Pier jetty. Just call or text 027 305 2520 and one of the Kai Ika team will meet you on the Pier.