the end of the line - doccie review

Submitted by ConsciousBabe on Mon, 2012-04-23 09:14

Where have all the fish gone?

The End of the Line urges us to change our view on fishThe End of the Line urges us to change our view on fish

Based on the book 'The End of The Line: How overfishing is changing the world and what we eat' written by journalist Charles Clover, this prestigious documentary serves as a wake-up call for all mankind.

Having won numerous awards including the Puma Creative Award and Environment Award at the 2010 One World Media Awards, The End of the Line asks us to re-evaluate the way we see fish.

Explaining that the fish population worldwide has been on the rapid decline since 1988, this mind-blowing documentary points out that although our view of the sea has always been that it is huge and bountiful, it seems we have won the 'war on fish' as many sea species are now becoming radically depleted.

While exact numbers remains controversy, experts worldwide agree that there has been a worryingly drastic decline in fish since large-scale industrial fishing began in 1950. Some even argue that if this downward spiral continues, many species of fish could be extinct by 2048!

This may sound extreme, but The End of the Line points out that there have already been cases of this happening over the last few decades - for example the fishing of cod had to be banned by Canadian government in 1992 as overfishing had depleted almost all of this previously thriving species along their Northern coast.

And over the last ten years Bluefin tuna catches have declined by 80% in certain areas of the world, with Mitsubishi even freezing tonnes of this fish in preparation for scarcity! (Read more about this scandal here )

The End of the Line goes on to explain that there are simply too many boats on the ocean catching too many fish - with a scary up to 1.4 billion hooks being thrown into the sea each year.

Although there are internationally agreed quotas to control the fishing industry, they are not always regulated correctly and the oceans continue to be depleted by unregulated and unreported fishing activities. Shockingly, some 50% of the fish that ends up on our plate could have been caught illegally.

Could it be we are pushing fish to extinction?Could it be we are pushing fish to extinction?

But, as this documentary points out, there could be serious consequences to over-fishing. As with most cases when an eco-system is out of balance, we have recently seen a crazy population increase of unexpected sea species such as sting rays, shrimp, lobster and jellyfish in certain areas of the world. Although many of these too are now being hunted and eaten, we need to consider the ultimate implication of these domino effects and realise quickly that messing with nature is generally NOT a good idea. There have even been reports that a decline in fish numbers could have helped encourage recent climate change.

And this eye-opening documentary also shows that it is not only the sea been affected, but that those who depend on it have suffered too. In some places, fishing is a part of the culture and a decline in fish has meant poorer coastal communities worldwide have been deprived of their livelihood. Unfortunately it is often the case that governments of developing countries trade in their fishing stock to developed countries for a quick buck, at the expense of smaller-scale local fishermen.

So is human nature to blame for our ravage on the oceans? And is it wise that at a time when we have found ourselves overpopulated and with a higher risk of food scarcity, we squander one of the greatest food resources the planet has to offer: wild fish?

The End of the Line asks that we as consumers take this issue into our own hands, supporting those fishing companies that use sustainable practises and pressurising our governments to regulate quotas correctly. It also explains how marine reserves could offer a solution, as it could assist in the rehabilitation of our oceans biodiversity.

To ensure a clear conscience the next time you eat or buy fish, check out SASSI . You can purchase this documentary and many others through the local organisation Activist .