Throwing a line to wild caught seafood with Chris Bolton Fishing
Based in Kurrimine Beach in Far North Queensland, family owned and operated, Chris Bolton Fishing, has just been named as one of this year’s State Winners at the 2021 delicious. Harvey Norman Produce Awards. The nod is perhaps not unsurprising given the business’ focus on high quality and low quantity seafood and sustainable fishing practices.
Owner, operator and fisherman, Chris Bolton, says, “We target a wide variety of fish, and with every single fish we catch, quality and freshness is our main concern. We do extremely short fishing trips, generally our fish is caught today, in a restaurant tomorrow.”
Bolton and his team are able to achieve and maintain this freshness with how the operation has been designed. They do everything themselves, whether it’s catching the fish, packing, marketing, accounts and bookkeeping, mechanical work, or electrical work.
In addition, each of their boats are on trailers that have their own cold rooms and packing facilities. Bolton confirms, “Fish are unloaded directly from the boat into our cold room, then packed into airfreight boxes, and on the next available flight.”
Line-caught, Chris Bolton Fishing then humanely kills their catch using the ike-jime method, which minimises stress to the fish and maintains the quality of the meat. The fish are then bled and transferred to a salt ice brine where their temperature is brought down to 2ºC before they are hand-packed in custom-made fibreglass eskies and covered with flake ice.
Chris Bolton Fishing offers largely reef fish to restaurants around Australia as well as some retail outlets. Their main catch includes coral trout, red emperor, goldband snapper, saddletail snapper, and spangled emperor. They also supply garfish, queenfish, mullet, herring, scad and other smaller inshore species.
Bolton recommends a light hand when cooking his ethically sourced seafood. He says, “Plain and simple. Let the flavour of the fish do the talking.”