Overfished Bish

If this world is ours, when will we act like it?

“…so when can we expect the beautiful “green revolution”? When will the people wake up? And stop saying it is a question of finance, because that’s false, it’s just a question of organisation. Sure, it’s not going to be perfect right away, but honestly, it would be more effective than complaining, bitching and blaming others…”

words written in French by Julie Descamps, unofficially translated by Natacha Neveu for The Sorting House.

Today, every single ocean on Earth is affected by overfishing and this is directly causing their dangerous degradation. Not to mention the degradation of wildlife and plants that also live in and around these vital habitats. Overfishing means capturing fish and seafood much faster than Mother Nature can restore it. It also means upsetting the earthly balance that is essential to the health of humanity.

This is because our oceans are incredibly polluted, which you already know all about because you’ve read The Englishman Who Wanted to Clean France, a book I wrote with Edmund Platt about our ongoing, global plastic crisis. There’s also a vertiginous number of tourist and commercial, cruise and cargo ships chugging out the contents of their engines, petrol and oil spills, toxic pesticide runoffs on all coastlines, and with Japan currently considering the ocean as a great place to dispose of radioactive waste from Fukushima, the global situation of our fish-food’s habitat doesn’t look likely to improve anytime soon.

The macro, micro and nano-plastic that oscillates in the gyres of our worldly oceans are creating a toxic soup of industry-generated trash that our fish-food so happens to live, breathe and eat in. The items found in the ‘plastic continents’ of our oceans are in varying stages of destruction – we don’t say decomposition, as that implies that they’ll eventually return to an organic state or become undetectable and harmless, yet plastic NEVER goes away, it NEVER becomes harmless, it just becomes invisible to the human eye – and dangerous pollutants accumulate on these pieces over time, creating an even more toxic particle mass that will continue accumulating poison forevermore!

Aside from how alarming that is, it has taught us that all oceans are linked by currents, and pollution knows no boundaries, so regardless of where we find ourselves in the world, we should really ALL start doing something about it!

Whether the fish you eat is farmed or wild, fresh or saltwater, regardless of where it came from, you can be sure that it is contaminated in some way or another. Seafood, fish and even freshwater catches are simply not as healthy for you as they may have been in the past.

This dire situation is teamed with the fact that the commercial fishing industry operates without the slightest respect for nature, local communities or our collective future. Then why continue circulating our hard-earned money to these bandits?

Nowadays with all the choices available to us, there is no reason to continue supporting industries that are just looking to get rich off the back of resources so vital to our current and future human life, especially when they are decimating what so preciously belongs to all of us.

After learning the truth behind what goes on at sea to bring fish and seafood to our plates, I vowed never to eat anything that came from underwater again. Quite frankly, I wouldn’t look back, not for gratinated mussels or grilled tuna steak, not for Yorkshire coast chip shop fish, nope, not even for a second. Every time I decline seafood I think of all the dolphins, whales, turtles, fish, birds and human lives, along with my own health, that I’ve contributed to saving with such a simple decision.

If you still like and desire to continue eating fish in spite of the worrying levels of pollution the ocean contains, there are some fisheries and species of fish that are less impacted – however, the onus for finding these is on you. Shouldn’t you at least know what you are taking part in? How does it get to you? What is the composition of the chemicals in the flesh and the impact you consuming it actually has on your body, the environment and the future for you and your children?

Instead of eating whatever is convenient and available at the restaurant, supermarket, or the fishmongers, maybe you could make a special occasion of it and go out to catch the fish you wish to eat, develop a new skill or a bond with family and friends. Connect with Mother Nature before taking from her for your own pleasure or sustenance; this is the ancestral way that respects the very biosphere of life that you are a part of.

You could also participate in town, city, river and beach cleaning operations, or even just pick up any random rubbish you see hanging around, discuss pollution and personal goals to reduce waste with anyone that will listen, boycott and lobby the big industries to finally make these long-overdue changes we want to see. Just find a way to give back and even out the playing field somehow, in some way that makes sense to you and will contribute to the effort we should all be undertaking to bring balance to our presence here.

Look deeper than the packaging and first appearances, these are often heavily invested marketing tactics that only benefit the persons who bank profit. Teach yourself from varied sources, keep an open mind, challenge your habits and make informed decisions, take back your power, make a change… you might just save some lives whilst you’re at it.

(Probs more than just tapping on pans at 8pm)

“Being able to look at nature with the eyes of the heart is letting beauty shine through …”

Sarah Marquis @explorer_sarahmarquiswww.sarahmarquis.com
Quote from the French version of her book ‘Deserts d’Altitude‘ –
Unofficially translated by Natacha Neveu @thesortinghouse

Updated on 12th December 2021

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