Mitch's thoughts on 'Seaspiracy'
Seaspiracy – some thoughts from Mitch & Rockfish
We have always had a strong ethical philosophy in our business at Rockfish and that underpins everything we do. We are actively part of the drive for positive change. The situation in regard to fishing methods and the health of our oceans is constantly changing. We have been in this business working directly with our fishermen and fishing communities (particularly on the south coast of England), with scientists and researchers, for over 20 years. We know we don’t have all the answers, we also know we are part of the positive movement who care deeply about getting things right. We listen and adapt when we need to and we campaign for change. We will continue to do that.
Whilst this film shines a spotlight on dreadful practices that need changing, the danger is that the narrative of small fisheries and the positive work of a sustainable seafood movement is wiped out and they are judged in the same way as the abhorrent practices. The film is now under intense scrutiny from scientists and activists for its inaccuracies and disinformation.
The fish we serve at Rockfish is primarily caught by a fleet of small boats fishing out of Brixham. Fishing here is highly controlled by quotas (the amount of fish you can catch) engine and gear size and a limit on the days at sea a boat can spend. The fisheries of the South West are a positive example of progress where fisherman and scientists have come closer together to ensure we don’t take wild fish beyond ecological levels from UK waters. We support the efforts of the industry and our small scale fishermen who through generations of caretaking continue to work to ensure people can continue to have the choice of sustainable seafood. Organisations like the MSC, a charity, are evidence of some of the great work that is being done towards a sustainable future. At Rockfish we use MSC certified species if there is an option to do so. The MSC work with independent scientists and fishermen to assess stock levels continually, their process to accreditation is rigorous and requires regular verification from all parties.
“It is easier to stand on the outside and say ‘this is bad’ than it is to roll up your sleeves and do the work to make it better.” Dr David Shiffman – research scientist, scientific/environmental consultant, science writer.
The challenges to our oceans and planet are many. Overfishing is a challenge and that is why sustainable fisheries are so important, fisheries that make sure stocks do not diminish beyond sustainable levels. We must work together with the fishing industry and all the communities whose livelihoods depend on fishing, with scientists and with environmental groups, with all those that have and want to have a voice. We all have a part to play in finding a balance solution for the multiple challenges the world faces.