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Crisis in the oceans
18 June 2009 ~ 16:23A new film entitled ‘The End of the Line’ is highlighting the problem of overfishing of the world’s oceans. It makes stark viewing, but is telling the absolute truth when it says that, if current practice is not changed, we face a future with seas devoid of all animal life.
One of the most endangered fish is the blue fin tuna, which could soon be extinct. The film has certainly done wonders to save this creature. For example, the founder of sandwich chain Pret-a-Manger, Julian Metcalfe, has taken the tuna off the menu at all his outlets. Tuna and cucumber sandwiches will no longer be sold, and baguettes and sushi will feature less endangered, more sustainable types of tuna.
Lots of people interviewed in the papers have said that after viewing the film, they intend to change their eating habits, eat less fish, or choose only fish which can be sourced ethically. Personally, I don’t eat fish and haven’t for 25 years. Mark eats fish occasionally, but he has also decided to reduce the number of cans of tuna per month that he buys by at least 50% (it’s not blue fin tuna).
Some restaurants are still sticking two fingers up at the environmentalists though. Japanese chain Nobu have amazingly put a warning on their menu asking punters to choose a different type of tuna, but refuse to actually stop selling blue fin!
Of course I still maintain that it is largely due to huge human population increases that this crisis has come about. If there were as many people in the world now as there were in 1400, they could all eat as much fish as they liked, and the seas would still team with life. We need to give tax incentives to small families with only one or two children. I’d personally rather have two kids and know that their great grandchildren would lead happy lives than have five whose descendants faced a future of starvation.