When I went to see End of the Line at Nu Metro in the V&A the other night, I was disappointed but not surprised. I was disappointed to see that there were only about twenty people watching the documentary while half the other movies were completely sold out. I was not surprised though, documentaries are always badly supported. Why is it that people are so reluctant to learn new things? If you eat seafood, you need to watch this documentary, it’s a simple as that.
Do you enjoy seafood? Do you like to be spoilt with oysters and champagne? Do you love eating sushi a few times a week? Do you enjoy a nice fillet of linefish for dinner every so often? Maybe you love a platter of prawns or other shellfish. Well, how would you like it if you could never have those things again? Then how would you like it if I told you that the reason you could never have seafood again is because a few people wanted to get rich by fishing every last fish out of the sea.
The sea is a shared resource which brings untold benefits to all who inhabit the earth, but there are only a few people who make big money from abusing the resource which should belong to all of us. Having said that, you and I are not guilt free. As consumers, our insatiable appetite for seafood drives the industry.
The crux of the problem is this: Fish stocks have been depleted by 90% in the last 50 years.
How did we get there? And people have been fishing for millenia so why has this happened in the last 50 years? I’m glad you asked, it’s a good question. The answer lies in technology. Huge ships which can travel to all parts of the ocean, equipment such as radar, sonar, etc which can find fish wherever they may be hiding. Then there are the nets, which are dragged through the ocean and are big enough to hold thirteen 747 aeroplanes. In addition to this the nets trawl along the ocean floor, wreaking abolute havoc and destroying habitat.
There is no way that fish can survive against these tools, especially used in the ruthless manner that characterises humans driven by greed. Something has to be done, and the good news is that some things are being done. But these initiatives need our support.
Many people think that farmed fish will be the answer, but unfortunately farmed fish still have to be fed with other fish. It takes about 5kgs of small fish like anchovies to create 1kg of salmon. We might as well eat the smaller fish (luckily I love anchovies and sardines, so I’m ready to do my bit!). Fish farming is not sustainable for this reason but there are several other reasons why fish farming is not a good solution.
One of the best solutions to the issue of declining fish stocks is the establishment of marine reserves. This will create interlinking areas of ocean where fishing will be banned and scientists will monitor the well being of the fish stocks and the marine ecosystem. There are challenges to this solution, such as protecting migratory fish and also enforcing the no fishing policy.
Eat and order SASSI green list fish so that the demand for the over fished species drops. Spread the awareness, when you order fish, ask where it came from and if it is sustainable. Speak to people, inform them about this serious issue we have because the chances are, they didn’t see the documentary.
See the trailer and find out more at the End of the Line website http://endoftheline.com