An Inconvenient Truth for Fish
The End of the Line looks to be the biggest environmental film since An Inconvenient Truth.
Taking the role of Al Gore in explaining a problem that is well known to scientists but has yet to hit the mainstream, Charles Clover, a former Daily Telegraph journalist, outlines the threat to the oceans.
He makes the assertion that if the fishing industry is not regulated, the world will be out of seafood around 2048. This would result in starvation for 1.2 billion people, as fish is a key part of their diet – unless you want to survive on jellyfish burgers.
The film opens with sweeping shots of boats on the water before cutting dramatically to scenes of 1,000s of silvery bodies being landed and people shoving tuna into their mouths – quite possibly in a celebrity restaurant.
As Mr Clover says, fish is no longer a guilt-free meal: “Trolling (using drag nets along the bottom of the ocean) is like ploughing a field seven times a year.”
He aims to show the viewer why we should all be thinking twice before ordering fish and chips.
One shocking statistic used in the film claims: “The global long-lining industry sets 1.4 billion hooks per year; if you wrapped the lines used around the earth, they could wrap 550 times.”
Mr Clover brings it closer to home when he states: “Fifty per cent of the cod caught in the North Sea was caught illegally, so every other fish on your plate was stolen – stolen from you.”
Even celebrities are guilty. The film targets restaurant Nobu, part-owned by Robert de Niro and frequented by Brad Pitt and Kate Moss, that is still serving bluefin tuna despite the fact the fish is in danger of extinction.
But it is not just about what we eat. The film makes the points out that without fish, we would face severe problems in all aspects of our society. For example fishermen could become refugees, forced to move due to a lack of employment, starvation, and a problem in the overall balance of our ecosystem.
There is a positive message however. Overfishing could be prevented by regulating the industry and protecting areas in order to conserve our natural resources. Also consumers can help by being more conscious of where fish comes from and whether if it is endangered – although fish farming is not the answer as 40 per cent of those fish get ground up to feed more fish.
One thing is certain, after seeing the fish in this film; viewers will never look at a fish finger the same way ever again.
The End of the Line is released nationwide on June 08.
To show support, you can “claim” a bit of the sea, you can view our claim here