The People's Choice - Vote now!

Entrant: Tora Collective

City: Martinborough


About My Business

Tora Collective is a family-owned, sustainable fishing business in an isolated rural settlement on the South Wairarapa Coast. We specialise in Paua, Crayfish & Kina. Our goal is to keep kaimoana in Aotearoa and have our oceans taonga (treasures) enjoyed and celebrated here, ensuring these special and indigenous species are part of our cuisine identity in Aotearoa. Our goal is also to provide our customers with a better quality of fish than they've ever received, that said; coming straight from the moana (ocean) to their plate overnight. Everything is caught by us, packed by us, and totally traceable and transparent. The underlying ethos of Tora Collective is to implement sustainable fishing, going above and beyond what is required in Aotearoa. Along with this to ensure that our package to our customers does not harm mother nature.

Why We Should Win The Peoples Choice Award

Our mission is to keep kaimoana in Aotearoa & have it enjoyed and celebrated on our shores as it was intended, developing our national cuisine culture and identity. It is to provide fish of better quality than what kiwi's have ever received. Which is kaimoana as it's intended: coming straight from the ocean, delivered to our customers overnight. It's to employ sustainable fishing systems above and beyond what is required in Aotearoa. We fish seasonally around the species' breeding & spawning cycles to ensure maximum reproduction & replenishment of stocks. We catch all fish to order: only harvesting what is pre-ordered & sold weekly, meaning nothing is taken from the moana unless it's been sold ie zero waste. Meaning we can harvest mindfully, much like gardening, harvesting small amounts from different areas each week. We have increased the size measurements of the Pāua we harvest. This means taking less fish out of the water, resulting in more fish in the water to breed and for our recreational divers. We put all-female crayfish caught back in the water. Each female crayfish holds up to 500, 000 eggs each year, so understandably we place them all back to ensure we're protecting the future of our fisheries. With our business, we wanted to ensure we were protecting the moana, on land too. This meant developing sustainable packaging which has been unheard of in the fishing industry until now. As you know, polystyrene & plastic icepacks are the standard, however, Polystyrene is slow to degrade, and the foam can leach chemicals into the environment harming water sources, and polystyrene manufacturing is an enormous creator of hazardous waste & CO2 contributing to global warming. Regarding the plastic problem, over 300 million tons of plastic are produced every year. At least 14 million tons of this plastic end up in the ocean every year, making up 80% of all marine debris found from surface waters to deep-sea sediments. As such, we were determined to avoid these products. So, we developed a package in which the entire contents are home-compostable, including wool, plant-based icepacks we make ourselves weekly, and beach-cast seaweed that washes up on our shores. Currently, we service a number of NZ's top restaurants and consumers across the country. All the while educating our people and fellow fishers on the benefits of sustainable fishing and business. We're also diversifying into seaweed products from fresh & dried seaweed as these are incredibly nutrient-rich marine plants that should be enjoyed by our people. This year, we have established a charitable trust called Awhea Coast Kids in order to give back and educate our tamariki about sustainability, fisheries, the environment and provide them with the tools to catch their own kaimoana. We hope that people can see we're just a couple of salty kiwi's much like yourselves, living on the wild Wairarapa coast and wanting to enjoy and celebrate kaimoana with our people in a responsible way.

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