The Kai Ika project utilises fish heads, frames and offal which were previously going to waste and distributes them to families around South Auckland. Since November 2016, more than 15,000 kg of previously discarded fish parts have been collected and redistributed.
The project has been facilitated by LegaSea and developed by the Outboard Boating Club (OBC) of Auckland and Papatuanuku Kokiri marae. For many, these fish parts are prized for their sweet flesh. In te reo, the fish head is called rangatira kai [the chief’s food]. It is considered a real delicacy.
Previously OBC members discarded tonnes of fish heads, frames and offal every year. Now, marae volunteers collect and distribute the heads and frames to an appreciative local community. The offal is used as fertiliser in the marae gardens where kumara is also grown for distribution. The project aims to decrease landfill waste, minimise impact on the marine environment, increase social, economic and cultural benefits, and increase industry networks.