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End of the Line - no fish in the oceans in 50 years.

(15 Posts)
Callisto Mon 29-Jun-09 10:46:30

It's being discussed on Women's Hour atm. It's the title of a book by Charles Clover and has just been made into a documentary film:

It does seem fairly self evident that if we continue to over-fish then eventually there will be no fish left. I try to buy sustainably sourced fish but it is immensly hard and I often don't buy if I can't find out how it was caught. I haven't eaten tuna for years. I seem to be in a tiny minority though and most people seem to think I'm barking for being such a fish-hugger.

So, what do you all do about buying fish, do you care about where your fish comes from and if not, why not?

mumblecrumble Mon 29-Jun-09 16:34:03

I have NO IDEA now how to buy ethical fish

But really want to... so will watch with interest. Did you see the 'blood sweat and takaways' documentary?

ItsGrimUpNorth Mon 29-Jun-09 17:04:42

I don't think we're buying fish anymore. I love it - fish fingers, grilled kippers, but there are going to be none left.

Not buying beef either. Too expensive and all that methane and cleared rain forest.

Is farmed fish like salmon ethical?

Callisto Tue 30-Jun-09 07:54:26

Ah, a couple of responses - thank goodness smile.

Farmed fish is a bit of a problem - on the one hand it is of course more sustainable, on the other hand it can cause big problems for wild fish, and the food these fish are fed is made from the very fish that we need to try and save. To be truly sustainable you need to only buy British organic farmed fish - it is horribly expensive though. Farmed trout is sustainable and has much less environmental impact than a badly run sea fish farm.

Mumblecrumble - Waitrose and M&S are the best places to buy fish.

As for beef, the impact of corn fed intensively farmed US beef is far greater than extensively farmed grass fed British beef. Buying British is about the best thing anyone can do if they are worried about animal welfare, food miles, sustainability and environmental impact.

AtheneNoctua Tue 30-Jun-09 12:14:30

I must admit I'm more interested in the price of the fish than I am in the sustainability. I'm sure that is very unPC. But, ££ is very important.

Rubyrubyrubyinthegame Tue 30-Jun-09 12:16:47

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

WinkyWinkola Tue 30-Jun-09 12:58:32

"But, ££ is very important."

Yes it is important of course but pretty meaningless really when there simply won't be any fish left at all.

You could have £millions but you can't magic fish out of no fish.

hana Tue 30-Jun-09 13:02:15

I just can't believe that there will be no fish left. Sounds very alarmist to me

(disclaimer - haven't read the article)

AtheneNoctua Tue 30-Jun-09 13:13:14

yes, I think it's a bit like "OMG, there's no more oil in the North Sea" (which also is alarmist)

Lancelottie Tue 30-Jun-09 13:25:00

Callisto, as you seem to be well up in this subject: I'll happily eat all the pollack, coley and nondescript other stuff, but is that just as bad as eating cod, haddock etc? Presumably they just trawl it all up regardless (so the endangered species still get swept up).

Oh, and any tips on making children eat trout? I love it; they make hideous gagging noises at it.

Callisto Tue 30-Jun-09 13:30:10

It does sound alarmist but sadly it isn't an exaggeration. Scientists have been warning of this for some time and a good example of overfishing and it's consequences is the collapse of cod stocks off the Grand Banks of Canada in the early 90's. Despite a total ban on fishing in this area ever since, fish stocks have still not recovered.

I agree that ££ are very important, for me it just means that I make choices based on how often we can afford to eat sustainably caught fish (not as often as I would like) and we never eat fish if I don't know where it has come from, whether that is in a restaurant, chip shop or the local fishmonger.

Callisto Tue 30-Jun-09 13:39:16

Lancelottie - it is very difficult. It very much depends on methods of fishing. Line caught anything is much, much better than net caught, but it depends on net size, area fished, by-catch etc. I often ask if for eg sea bass in a restaurant is line caught and chances are the chef won't even know the difference between line and net caught anyway, though this is changing. I also think that the 'unfashionable' fish that we're being encouraged to eat will soon be facing the same problems as haddock, tuna, cod etc so I have a real dilemma here myself. Sorry, that wasn't much help really, but there is a list that the Marine Conservation Society have compiled here: and there is an overview of the subject by Greenpeace here:

ItsGrimUpNorth Tue 30-Jun-09 14:15:25

Why do people think it's impossible that we have done irreparable damage to our ecology? e.g. fished the oceans dry, so to speak.

Why is it "alarmist"? There are going to be no more fish. And soon. It's not hard. Do the research.

MiniMarmite Tue 30-Jun-09 14:20:27

See recent MN thread following discussion with Waitrose fish 4

Lancelottie Wed 01-Jul-09 11:45:37

Thanks -- will read...

OK, looks like I need to convert the littl'uns to the joys of sardines on toast.

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