Teach a man to fish!


This week on Facebook: My attention turned to fish and the ever increasing global demand for sources of protein. I often mention in conversations with a friend what I call my Tesco Tuna Test, the contention being that cheap tins of Tuna — usually sold as 3 tins wrapped together — is only possible when the supply continues to exceed (or match) the demand. The demand is clearly going to increase, along with the price and the eventual reduction in the global supply of supply of tuna. If the TTT provides a measure of global overfishing by the price of wrapped tins of tuna divided by the weight of tuna therein, it will also increase. It’s difficult to predict what number in the TTT would represent global overfishing, especially as that number has already been reached, but perhaps it may represent the rate at which global overfishing is occurring. This assumes that supermarkets, their suppliers and consumers of tuna, actually care as the TTT has yet to begin a recognisable (and inevitable) exponential rise.

If you think that the answer lies in fish farming — then read Wednesday’s article before you take up the next offer on salmon at the supermarket.

Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day.
Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.
Chinese proverb


Monday 21/11/2016 Overfishing: In the mid-20th century, international efforts to increase the availability and affordability of protein-rich foods led to concerted government efforts to increase fishing capacity. Favorable policies, loans, and subsidies spawned a rapid rise of big industrial fishing operations, which quickly supplanted local boatmen as the world’s source of seafood.

Tuesday 22/11/2016 Why Fish Can No Longer Escape Our ConsciencePotential vegans or vegetarians—anyone, really, who thinks seriously about eating animals—often tend to think of fish as swimming aimlessly in an ethical grey area.  Land-based creatures, most conscientious consumers will acknowledge, feel pain, suffer, and do it all with some level of intentionality and individual consciousness. Based on these qualities, many of us have decided that they warrant enough moral consideration to at least not be raised and rendered into a sausage link.

Wednesday 23/11/2016 Fish Farming — Captive Fish Feeding Operation: If after reading this page and watching the embedded videos you still feel like you absolutely, positively have to eat fish, then this contributed infographic is for you.  While it mainly deals with mercury contamination in fish and guides the viewer on how to avoid those fish with the highest levels of heavy metal contamination, it also points out which fish species are endangered and those that are caught with environmentally destructive methods.

Thursday 24/11/2016 One of the World’s Biggest Fisheries Is on the Verge of Collapse: “What we’re looking at is potentially one of the world’s worst fisheries collapses ever,” says John McManus, a marine biologist at the Rosenstiel School at the University of Miami who studies the region’s reefs. “We’re talking hundreds and hundreds of species that will collapse, and they’ll collapse relatively quickly, one after another.”

Friday 25/11/2016 Overfishing causing global catches to fall three times faster than estimated: A 2015 study showed nearly 500 Chinese fishing vessels operating off west Africa, with scores of cases of illegal fishing, according to Greenpeace. Large European vessels also operate in the region. In April 2015, the EU threatened Thailand with a trade ban over illegal fishing, while in September, Greenpeace said it had identified significant pirate fishing for tuna in the Pacific.


My Tesco Tuna Test is not the same as the Big Mac index. The latter is a lighthearted measure — albeit quite accurate — of currency exchange rates. To form a correlation between the TTT the BMi and the environment it would be necessary to measure the actually meat composition in  a Big Mac. Although, if the BMi remains accurate and the meat composition is assumed to be relatively constant, then it could be taken as an environmental measure.

FISH TO 2030: Prospects for Fisheries and Aquaculture (pdf)

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Hello, I’m Ed Conway, Economics Editor of Sky News, and this is my website. Blogposts, stuff about my books and a little bit of music

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An Anthology of Short Stories

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