Consuming Issues: A fishy tale: Princes' claims on its tuna tins
Saturday 15 January 2011
A television series this week showed British trawlermen tossing dead cod back into the sea and African fishermen confirming their tuna nets also snared turtles, sharks and dolphins.
While campaigners have been warning about wasteful trawling for years, the images from Hugh's Fish Fight depicted the reality stronger than any number of academic papers, quango websites or newspaper articles about "discards".
If, after watching the prgrammes, you want to help keep the oceans healthy, what can you do? Well one of presenter Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall's messages was that British consumers rely too heavily on just three different species, cod, salmon and tuna, all of which are associated with different environmental problems: cod because it is heavily fished, making it even more absurd to throw back caught specimens; tuna because there is a large by-catch, unwittingly listed by those Ghanaian fishermen, and salmon, because three kilos of small fish are required to produce one farmed kilo.
Consumers can help by signing up the Fish Fight campaign to end discards, and by shopping more carefully.
Cod. While North Sea stocks are recovering, cod off the UK is only a fraction of its historical abundance, probably only one twentieth. Most of Britain's traditional favourite in fish-and-chip shops and supermarkets comes from hundreds of miles away, from Iceland and the Barents Sea. There is no reason to boycott cod because these faraway fisheries are well managed, but such a heavy emphasis on cod could lead to it plunging back into trouble in the future. Eating other species such as coley, gurnard, dab, flounder and herring helps relieve pressure on cod and preserve it for future generations, though you may need to visit a fishmonger to find some of them.
Tuna. Some tuna is caught by the pole-and-line method, which does not involve by-catch, but most is caught by purse seine trawlers. In a few words, purse seine nets hoover up marine life congregating around man-made rafts called fish aggregating devices (FADs), including turtles, sharks and other animals, which are usually thrown back into the water, dead. This week Greenpeace published a league table of tinned tuna. Sainsbury's, Marks & Spencer and Waitrose, which all sell pole and line caught tuna, topped the table. The purse seining Princes, responsible for a third of UK tuna sales, came bottom. Princes said on Wednesday it would drop its claim on its tins that it is "fully committed to fishing methods which protect the marine environment and marine life." Instead it will refer shoppers to an online statement about its policy on sustainability – but it will carry on purse seining. John West, another purse seiner, came second bottom. Greenpeace had ranked Tesco last, but, following Tesco's announcement this week that it will sell only pole and line-caught tinned tuna by the end of 2012, Britain's biggest supermarket was ranked fourth. The best tip here is to buy pole-and-line caught tuna: easily done at Sainsbury's, Marks & Spencer and Waitrose.
Salmon. Given that wild fish also eat small wild fish, there is no need to avoid farmed salmon, but organic salmon farms which use fish offcuts for feed, are better than conventional. There is no harm, though, in eating mackerel instead of salmon from time to time.
More generally, when shopping, the Marine Stewardship Council is a useful though not perfect indicator of whether fish has been sustainably caught.
And don't overlook British seafood, much of which is sold abroad but whichis cheap, healthy and sustainable. Look out for langoustines and mussels, to name just two.
Heroes and villians: Commons probes energy prices and RBS fined £2.8m
Hero: Tim Yeo
Mr Yeo's Energy and Climate Change Select Committee has invited Ofgem's chief executive Alistair Buchanan to a little light questioning next week. The cross-party committee says the subjects to be discussed are: gas and electricity prices, competition in UK energy markets, electricity market reform, and "Ofgem's future".
Villain: RBS Group
RBS and NatWest have been fined £2.8m for mishandling complaints. Which? summarised: "It appears that instead of taking complaints seriously RBS and Natwest have been paying lip-service to the process, delaying and inconveniencing their customers and systematically rejecting complaints they should have been upholding."
Independent Partners; request a free guide on NISAs from Hargreaves Lansdown
- 1 Russell Brand accuses FOX News anchor Sean Hannity of terrorism after aggressive Israel-Gaza debate
- 2 Pope Francis issues top 10 tips for happiness – including don’t try to convert other people
- 3 Disney heiress Abigail disowns her share of family profits in West Bank company
- 4 The secret report that helps Israel hide facts
- 5 Israel's propaganda machine is finally starting to misfire
The secret report that helps Israel hide facts
Land for gas: Merkel and Putin discussed secret deal could end Ukraine crisis
Woman and two children killed by mob in riots over 'blasphemous' Facebook post in Pakistan
A day in the life of Vladimir Putin: The dictator in his labyrinth
Putin is 'thuggish, dishonest and reckless', says British ambassador to US
Richard Dawkins tweets: 'Date rape is bad, stranger rape is worse'
- < Previous
- Next >
iJobs Money & Business
£20000 - £24000 per annum: Harrington Starr: A leading provider of web based m...
£28000 - £32000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Secretary (Sales Team Support) - Mat...
Competitive (DOE): Guru Careers: We are looking for an Assistant Management Ac...
£600 - £700 per day + competitive: Orgtel: Senior Investment Accounting Change...
Day In a Page
A two-bedroom flat with boutique hotel-style interiors, close to the foodie haunt of West End Lane
A two-bedroom flat in a beautiful old vicarage, with many original features, close to the city centre
A three-bedroom 16th-century home with an aga kitchen, private gardens and heated outdoor pool, in Hadleigh
A three-bedrom home in sought-after Queen's Gate Mews, with Italian marble-finished bathrooms
Surrounded by glorious countryside in the village of Udimore, sits this impressive four-kiln oast and barn conversion
A five-bedroom house in the picturesque village of Kettlewell, north Yorkshire
An 18th-century former coaching inn with original staircase, open fireplaces and beams throughout
A Grade II-listed Georgian town house with three bedrooms and a south-facing courtyard, near Arundel Castle
Feel on top of the world at this über chic penthouse on the 37th floor of one of Europe’s tallest blocks.
A Grade II-listed Victorian villa with six bedrooms and two further cottages, all with spectacular sea views
A grade II-listed, Georgian cottage with mature 50ft garden, perfect for summer entertaining
A magnificent Georgian pile with turrets, seven bedrooms, a heated pool and four acres of gardens
Fairoak Farm has five bedroom suites, gym, outdoor swimming pool and golf course
Chic two-bedroom river-fronted flat with a private lift that delivers you directly to your home
A spectacular seven-bedroom Tudor pile, once owned by Henry VIII, with 18 acres of land
A seven-bedroom Georgian property previously used as a picturesque wedding venue
A split-level flat in a church conversion with two en suite bedrooms and 1,200sq ft of living space
A three-bedroom bungalow situated behind an impressive stone wall, £645,000
Windsor Castle overlooks this three-bedroom Victorian cottage located on one of Windsor's smartest roads
Chapel House is a former vicarage with nine bedrooms in the beautiful Upper Wye Valley
A five-bedroom B&B and separate owner's accomodation with potential for conversion
Enjoy summer by the Thames in this two double-bedroom converted warehouse in Rotherhithe village
A one-bedroom, luxury apartment with private gym and concierge service in Moorgate
A four-bedroom house in Hermitage Gardens with three reception rooms and landscaped gardens
A seven-bedroom Grade II-listed property with a separate self-contained apartment
A five-bedroom Victorian house with three reception rooms and galleried landing, £695,000
A six-bedroom farmhouse with five acres of land in a former cloth-making village
A secluded seven-bedroom detached house with large private garden, £490,000
A three-bedroom cottage overlooking Sarratt village green with open fires and solid oak floors
A three-bedroom maisonette flat in a Grade I-listed, Georgian townhouse in a sought-after location
A one-bedroom apartment located within a private gated development, north of Turnham Green
Look forward to a brighter future at two-bedroom Sunny Cottages, ideal for Londoners looking to downsize
A three-bedroom red-brick cottage with outbuildings and pretty gardens, £200,000
This three-bedroom flat within a former textile factory spans the corner of the fourth floor and has a balcony
A charming four-bedroom Oxfordshire cottage with oak floors and chunky-beamed ceilings, £465,000
A beautiful one-bed flat in a sought-after portered block, with access to Norland Square communal gardens
A one-bedroom flat within a Sixties school conversion with high-spec design and open-plan kitchen, close to Lambeth North Tube, £435,000