How can writers, journalists and publishers help?
We've all been shocked by stories about the decline of fish stocks, the damaging effects of some fishing techniques, and the real possibility that we might lose some species from the seas for ever. The fact that we have been alerted to these problems - hopefully with still enough time to solve them - is largely down to the efforts of writers, journalists, film-makers and publishers. They have found ways to turn distant problems and complex science into stories that we can understand and relate to.
When we have conducted interviews for Sustainable Fish City, we have heard again and again how people were inspired to do something about sustainable fish - whether in their personal lives or at work - by reading the work of Charles Clover or Felicity Lawrence, seeing the End of the Line film, watching David Attenborough or Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall on television talking about the crisis in fish stocks, or reading books such as Cod: The biography of the fish that changed the world.
Communicating the issues around sustainable fish is very important to help people understand the problem, and to awaken their determination to do something about it. But at Sustainable Fish City, we also want to present solutions. Real action that people can take to protect precious fish stocks and marine environments and to promote good fishing livelihoods, now and in the future.
So if you are a writer, journalist or publisher, please consider making sustainable fish a priority in your work over the coming years. We can connect you with caterers, businesses, policy-makers and fish experts who can share their knowledge and stories. We'd love to receive copies of your stories to share with others. Please link to Sustainable Fish City to promote the opportunity to take action to solve the problems.
If you're a publisher of a magazine, newspaper, books, or online material that deals with fish, you might also consider adopting a policy that you will no longer promote the consumption of endangered species, and make every effort to direct readers to sustainable sources of fish, whenever fish is an ingredient of a story or recipe. Many publishers have already taken a similar approach with Forestry Stewardship Council certified paper. So why not with Marine Stewardship Council certified fish?
If you're planning recipes and features, be more adventurous and serve different types of fish and shellfish to help relieve the pressure on popular species. For consumers, we have put together a "Top Ten Fish Swaps" to help you consider alternatives to 'at risk' fish.
“The Jellied Eel is proud to back the Sustainable Fish City campaign. We have reported on progress with sign-ups to the Sustainable Fish City pledge, and also published an exposé of the state of the Capital’s fish sandwiches!”
Ben Reynolds, The Jellied Eel and London Food Link
“Sustainable Fish City is a brilliant idea to get people and organisations throughout a city to pause and think about the plight of our fish and how to go about sourcing fish responsibly. As a food writer, I'll do my best to get the message across.”
Jenny Linford, Food Writer