All the seafood, fresh and/or live, is directly imported into Vancouver via airfreight by the national carrier Air New Zealand to ensure optimal freshness and is generally here within 48 hrs of being harvested. 46 South aims to have the seafood products arrive into Vancouver mid week so they can consolidate with buyers products leaving the west coast heading east. We reach out to interested buyers usually on a Thursday with what we expect based on weather and seasonality. On Friday we take wish lists so we can inform the companies and vessels what species and amount's we would like. This means that you are receiving seafood harvested fresh. Come Monday or Tuesday we start to know what the boats were able to catch and can advise buyers if the order was filled and if not what alternatives there are. Once order is finalized it is packed into styro boxes with gel ice packs and placed in the safe hands of GVI Logistics in Auckland who consolidate the products from both islands and hand off to Air New Zealand who deliver it to Vancouver on a 14 hr flight.
New Zealand has two main islands, North or South, and a smaller third island in the deep south called Stewart Island. The country lies between 32 and 48 degrees South with the far north extending into the calmer tropics and the far south placed in a region known as the 'roaring forties', a belt of strong westerly winds and associated fronts lashing the coast. This means the boats on the North Island's north east coast can see a lot more days at sea than the boats in the South Island which are often tied to the wharf waiting for that weather window. This is what makes it truly 'wild caught' and what inshore fishing is about. Many things have to line up: weather, seasons, cooperative fish and a market that understands what goes on behind the scenes to bring premium fresh seafood to the plate.
NORTH ISLAND FISH
Red Sea bream, Red Snapper, Kingfish, Trevally, Scorpion Fish, Gurnard, Tarakihi, John Dory, Groper (Wreckfish), Bluenose Bass, Alfonsino, Scorpion Fish
Most of the fin fish species we supply are from the sheltered warmer waters of the North Island’s East coast. Species like Red Sea Bream, John Dory and Groper arrive on a regular basis, often weekly. They are predominately from longline day boats using the ‘Iki Jime’ method to harvest the fish. The 'Iki Jime' harvest method is an ancient Japanese technique of killing and bleeding fish at the time of capture. A spike is inserted into the brain of the fish as it is landed and it is kept in rigor in an icy slush bath. Instantaneous death best preserves the texture and quality of the flesh. This unique method not only preserves the quality of the flesh, it also reduces an environment for bacteria and pathogens to grow and minimizes overall stress on the fish. Iki jime is the most humane way of killing fish. The result is ultra clean and quality sashimi grade product.
SOUTH ISLAND FISH
Blue Cod, Monkfish, Ling (kingclip), Sole, Flounders, Turbot, Brill, Elephant Fish, Gurnard, Tarakihi, Skate, Greenbone/Butterfish, Sea Urchin
The South Island’s Foveaux Strait and Stewart Island is where we source our southern fin fish products and urchin from. Supply is not as consistent compared with the warmer North due to the rough waters that thrash the deep south’s coastline. Boats only get out on average 180 days a year. On average we still see weekly supply of Urchin and then Monkfish, Ling & Blue Cod every second week. Although the products are not Iki Jime harvested, they offer variety often exclusive to New Zealand waters. New Zealand Monkfish are similar looking to the North American variety but are actually from a different family and is regarded as being superior to the Atlantic variety. Blue Cod is actually a sand perch and is one of New Zealand’s top seafood choices.
New Zealand Oysters are a great choice for North American summer/early fall as these oysters are in season because its winter in NZ - this means plump non spawning oysters free of any health concerns as vibrio or red tide is not present in cooler waters.
Kaipara Oyster (crassostrea gigas) season: JUNE - OCT
Located in the sparsely populated northwest region of New Zealand’s North Island. Harvested on an approved organic farm. Tidal tumbled in baskets suspended from longlines
TASTE: Firm-textured meat that has notes of ocean brininess, algae, citrus and a fresh cucumber finish
COROMANDEL OYSTER (CRASSOSTREA GIGAS) SEASON: JUNE - OCT
The Coromandel Oyster farm is located in the pristine waters surrounding Coromandel Peninsula in New Zealand’s North Island. Harvested using the 'off bottom' rack and bag culture
TASTE: Firm-textured meat that has notes of ocean brininess, sweet aftertaste with a fresh buttery finish