All Fished Out

I heard an economist discussing the imminent withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union. She was saying that it was essential for the UK to make a good deal and with regard to fishing, a particular sticking point, said that British fishermen needed to have a greater share of the quota and anyway we needed to sell to the European market as we produce more fish than we consume.

What I found so appalling was that there was no consideration in her mind over the crushing of the oceans by the over-fishing that has already occurred. More than 15 years ago a Scots fisherman said that they knew the stocks were dying out but what choice did they have but to fish along with the other European fishing boats.

Does no-one realise among those discussing policies that the oceans are dying? Once a fish-stock has died out – fish stock being a misnomer for all the fish of a particular species – it can never be replaced. No matter how many fish eggs are held in cold storage against the day. Fish are not like plants. They have a social life, a migration pattern, breeding grounds and so many other features which stationary life-forms do not share in the same way. Once destroyed those voices in the ocean will be stilled forever. Does that not stir your heart? It certainly does mine.

Author: Keith Armstrong

Dance teacher, writer, film-maker, educationalist, enthusiast.