Wednesday, 17 June 2009

For Cods Sake; Celebrity Campaign On Fish Depletion

The star of 'White Mischief' and 'Shattered' is proving she's still as brave as ever by posing with just a dead cod to cover her modesty in a shock new campaign. Greta is launching an initiative to help save the world's fish stocks.

Greta Scacchi was galvanised into action after seeing The End of the Line, a powerful documentary released last week. The film is based on a book about overfishing by journalist Charles Clover, and claims that within 40 years fish will become extinct. Such is the film's power that the sandwich chain Pret a Manger last week took tuna off the menu. The documentary says that industrial fishing is emptying the seas of fish, destroying the livelihoods of poor fishermen in places such as Africa and killing wildlife accidentally caught in the process.

It comes at a time when Pret A Manger have agreed to stop selling tuna to protect the endangered bluefin tuna, and top restaurant Nobu are advising diners that eating the fish maybe isn't the most eco-friendly choice. Campaigners say the species is closer to the brink of extinction than even the white rhino.

The film has been described as the equivalent of Al Gore's An Inconvenient Truth for fishing, and is being backed by a wide range of green groups including Greenpeace, WWF and the Wildlife Trusts, and retailers such as Waitrose.

The oceans absorb half of the carbon we produce, so if they go, the likelihood of us going greatly increases. The world's fish reserves have been declining since 1989, fishing fleets are 250% larger than the oceans can sustainably support, 80% of a trawler's catch will be chucked back into the sea, dead, so that quotas aren't exceeded -- quite often these trawlers destroy everything else on the seabed. Long-line fishing has depleted the albatross population by 40%.

A Japanese restaurant called Nobu serves the endangered bluefin tuna, it recently received a petition from the likes of Sienna Miller and Elle MacPherson. The restaurant argues that as it informs customers on the menu of the bluefin's endangered status, they are free to make up their own minds!

So what are the solutions? She says we should only eat fish approved by the Marine Stewardship Council (its website has a list of approved kinds), and the government must act now.

"At the moment they side with the fishermen instead of the fish, but if they carry on as they are there won't be anything for them to catch, and then they will all be out of jobs. "The state of the ocean has been peripheral to global warming, but that has to change. The effects of overfishing will be, I am afraid, ..catastrophic."


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