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  • Writer's pictureMeyrick Consulting

Are we fishing and eating in troubled waters?

I thought that cod had become a sustainable fish just a short while ago. Therefore I was rather surprised to see that both Cod and Wild Salmon have lost their sustainable status. This is serious and along with fish exports post Brexit, there is much to consider as both as consumers, producers and exporters.

The Marine Conservation Society’s Good Fish Guide 2019 was published last week

It recommends that North Sea Cod is now on the ‘ fish to avoid’ red rating list. Therefore the suggestion is that we should be consuming more Hake, Herring and Plaice. Seabass, on the other hand has been removed from the at risk list now that stocks have recovered. The Marine Stewardship Council has also suspended the North Sea cod’s blue tick certification and states that Cod may well vanish from the shelves in the UK in 2020.

Is the future domestic markets?

In addition, to export fish, should we leave at the end of the month with a no deal, would mean we would have to treat the EU in the same way as our non EU country exports. That means the fishing fleet will need validated catch certificates and also an export health certificate. In addition at customs and border inspections there might be a necessity to have storage, direct landing and documents alongside a processing statement according to However, this may not affect many fishermen in Scotland who have been developing domestic markets on the back of Sterling’s poor showing since the referendum. Yet, do note we are being priced out of British crabs in the UK that are being exported, almost wholesale, with domestic prices currently through the roof.

So what I was wondering is, whether we should think again about what we eat and where we source the things we have learned to take for granted.

Isn’t it the ideal opportunity to reappraise our attitude and behaviours towards food and more importantly revise our opinion regarding the extraordinary bounty we have on our shores and inland? Certainly we are being encouraged to check very carefully where our food is coming from, how it is produced and if it is sustainable.Provenance has never been higher up the menu.

Yet on another note, for example, we reject extra large apples grown in the UK. These are now exported in patriotic boxes to the Middle East . Meanwhile we swap low food miles apples for smaller imports. Both practices mean apples travel miles in artificial environments, albeit by sea but even so…..

Since when did we become this picky?

Why are we so lazy that we buy huge amounts of peeled crayfish from China when the crayfish population in UK rivers is reaching epidemic proportions It seems to me that the big apple conundrum is this way because we like to snack on fruit and crayfish tails make excellent lunches on the go. Therefore isn’t it about time that we thought again about how we eat, when we eat and where?

Is our obsession with eating at our desks, on public transport, in the street and anywhere really, reaching the tipping point?

If you go to France, Spain or Portugal for example, people still stop for lunch. Even construction workers in Portugal, relax and eat a cooked meal at a table with a cloth. They consume their meal from plates with a knife and fork and a napkin. Why does that sound so weird to us? Where did we lose the habit? Shouldn’t we think again about just what impact our slack eating habits are having on the environment, the economy and our bodies?

If we started to eat at a table, using proper cutlery and crockery and seasonal foods surely our reliance on packaging and also foreign imports would be less wouldn’t it?

What would be wrong with tucking into a dish of UK crayfish cooked in garlic, herbs and butter or perhaps a dessert utilising English apples? Our climate is changing, we have the farming expertise to be more self sufficient; it just needs a shift in perspective and a creative approach to what we eat and how we eat it.

Obviously the Food Industry has really embraced the convenience food trends but is now a good time to think again and do our level best to live a more sustainable life and hope Cod and Wild Salmon stocks are given the conditions to survive and flourish. What do you think? Is there any point in this perspective?

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