A pink-eared emperor or a sordid sweetlips might not ring a bell, but to connoisseurs in the UAE, they are names of tasty alternatives to endangered fish.
The well-known hammour, shaari and kanaad varieties are becoming increasingly at risk as demand for them grows, and fishermen eager to provide the market circumvent regulations. The result is an alarming decline of these fish in regional waters that has left conservationists scrambling to find an alternative solution.
That is why Choose Wisely , a cookbook championed by the Emirates Wildlife Society and the World Wide Fund for Nature, is a read worth looking at- and cooking from.
Unveiled at Gordon Ramsay's Verre resteraunt in Dubai, it is designed to encourage foodies to select alternatives to threatened varieties, as The National reports today.
At first glance, the concoctions may not appeal to everyone: the unusually named Tamil Nadu Fish Curry, Shaari Eshkeli with Lemon and Olive Oil, and Hot-Smoked Green Tea Souli Wraps may be an adventurous leap from the usual grilled mainstays of many family tables.
But at the very least, these creations will offer a better chance of survival to popular fish suffering under the weight of human demand. And who knows? Try it out - those sweetlips may not be that sordid after all.