Thursday, 17 January 2019

European Sustainable Fishing debate.

Let's talk about sustainable fishing. We should also say sustainable fisheries, because you see that there is indeed no universal criterion for defining once and for all how to protect all oceans and seas.

Those who think that sustainable fishing is a simple trick to implement must take into account the fact that fish have the annoying habit of moving without regard to borders.

A billion people depend on fish in Asia Pacific

To find one's way, I propose three simple principles. The first, rather intuitive, is based on the state of the stock and on the ability of a species to reproduce in the best conditions, without the stock becoming depleted or, worse, tends to disappear. Obviously this criterion is different depending on the species and the maritime areas concerned. To take a simple example: one billion people depend on fish in the Asia-Pacific as a source of protein, and the region concentrates 80% of fishers and farms. The control of the situation is therefore much more sensitive to this geopolitical scale than in Europe.

Second parameter, largely as complicated to control: the environmental impact. For example, it is verified that fisheries limit their use of fossil fuels, sort their waste, provide the crew with good living conditions on board, employment, training and safety and pollute little.

Finally, biodiversity must be preserved and the survival of a species must not, for example, lead to the destruction of a coral reef.

It will be understood that protecting the oceans is the crossroads of multiple parameters that must, moreover, necessarily be shared on an international level. And in fact, I would say that beyond the institutions, only the sum of the investments and the energies of humans who are convinced and committed can protect the oceans.

From consumer to committed actors

In these conditions, the consumer can become engaged actors! But he will have to be very attentive and creative. Attentive, first at the time of purchase, since according to a survey published shortly before Christmas by the consumer association UFC-Que Choisir , a large part of the fish present today on the stalls of supermarkets are not from sustainable fisheries, including cod, sole and bass. And even if some major players in the mass market have set to work to become virtuous, we are talking about 2022 or even 2025 objectives. The consumer would therefore be well advised to take an interest in two reliable labels today. : the French eco-label "Sustainable Fisheries" and the international MSC label for Marine Stewardship Council.

But the most active and effective solution is CO-KING! Why ? Well to stop consuming the same thing all the time. So let's tackle some horse mackerel, conger, gurnard, mullet or cuttlefish recipes and make sure it's the right season to buy them. How? And by downloading the most effective free application that is: Mister Goodfish created in 2002 on an associative and European basis and which is summarised by: Good for the sea, good for you!

From an article by Pierre Hivernat, Director of the editor of Alimentation Générale at FranceCulture.