We’re partial to a portion of fish n’ chips in our house but about a month ago, Richard went off to get what was once our weekly treat only to come home with haddock instead of cod. Cod, he’d been told, had become increasingly difficult to get hold of leading to prices sky rocketing so our local chippie was no longer using it.
What? No more cod and chips? What’s going on?
I had to look into this and what I discovered wasn’t nice.
Our seas have been so badly over-fished that many of the food species that we once took for granted are now struggling to sustain their populations to the point where they’re becoming increasingly scarce.
Apparently, in order for us to continue following the Government’s guidelines regarding eating more fish for health reasons, it’s important we buy only fish that’s caught in a less wasteful manner than has, until now, been the case.
Fishing with nets leads to the loss of way too many young, unusable fish that are already dead by the time they’re thrown back in. It also causes the death of other marine creatures that aren’t used for food but that are important in upholding the balance beneath the waves. In fact, net fishing is considered the biggest and most indiscriminate killer on the planet! Long-line fishing isn’t innocent either.
So what can we do?
It’s suggested that in order to put a stop to this wasteful method of fishing and allow growth in our natural fish supplies we shop only from reputable fish mongers and always ask the questions: “where does this fish come from?” and “how was it caught?”. Better still, learn to fish and catch your own ;-)
Preferably we should choose locally caught fish and rather than sticking with one variety, we should vary our choices to include less popular fish such as Saithe and Pollack while steering well clear of vulnerable species . Take a look at this list from Greenpeace to find out what you should and shouldn’t be buying and why.
No more tropical (tiger) prawns for me. With 10kgs of by-catch being killed for every 1kg of prawns caught, the cost is just far too high. Not to mention the human rights issues surrounding these prawns. According to the Greenpeace list, violence and intimidation is part of the picture. Even farmed prawns are far from innocent. Nope... just give me some plain old fresh local prawns, please. Fresh because the frozen ones are often shipped to Asia first for peeling and freezing and then shipped back again. That's some carbon footprint just for a few prawns!
It’s all really quite shocking, don't ya fink?
Sharon J xx