Europe runs out of fish tomorrow

Okay, Europe doesn’t actually run out of fish tomorrow. But if the EU depended entirely on its own waters, it would have completely depleted its fish stocks by tomorrow, the 2nd of July. At that point, any further fish dinners would have to be sourced elsewhere and imported.

The EU has been disastrous at managing fish stocks. As we’ve explored before, quotas are political rather than scientific, and the result has been a steady and predictable decline in yields. Despite this mismanagement, fish consumption remains high in Europe. And that means shipping in fish from elsewhere, sometimes farmed, sometimes wild. Having trashed our own stocks, we’re now fishing in other people’s waters, such as West Africa. In some cases, local fishermen have lost their livelihoods to huge European trawlers.

One key to getting the EU’s fishing industry back onto a sustainable footing is to choose to eat different fish. Some fish stocks are more seriously depleted than others. Atlantic Cod and Salmon and Dover Sole are all at risk and are best avoided if we want to preserve stocks so they can recover. There are plenty of other fish that are not in trouble as yet, many of them very similar to the popular varieties. Here’s an infographic showing the fish to eat and the ones to avoid, and you can download a pocket-sized version of the same from the Information is Beautiful blog.

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