‘Choose Wisely’ fish cam­paign

CALL FOR RE­THINK ON POL­ICY

Bray People - - NEWS - MARY FOG­A­RTY

DECADES OF mis­man­age­ment and over-fish­ing have left the seas around Ire­land and Europe al­most de­void of some fish stocks.

The Na­tional Sea Life Cen­tre in Bray in as­so­ci­a­tion with the Ir­ish Wildlife Trust are call­ing upon the new Min­is­ter for Agri­cul­ture, Fish­eries and Food to play an ac­tive role in the re­form of the Com­mon Fish­eries Pol­icy by plac­ing en­vi­ron­men­tal sus­tain­abil­ity as the top pri­or­ity.

They have launched a 'Choose Wisely' cam­paign to raise aware­ness of the de­plet­ing sta­tus of Ir­ish fish stocks and pro­mote sus­tain­able con­sumerism prac­tices.

As much as 88 per cent of Ir­ish fish stocks are be­ing fished un­sus­tain­ably while 30 per cent are 'out­side safe bi­o­log­i­cal lim­its' and threat­ened with ex­tinc­tion.

It is es­ti­mated that by 2050 all com­mer­cially ex­ploitable fish species will have been over-fished, de­priv­ing us not only of fa­mil­iar din­ner plate spe­cials but de­stroy­ing liveli­hoods, com­mu­ni­ties and a part of our cul­tural her­itage.

Run­ning over three days, ' The Choose Wisely' Sus­tain­able Fish­ing launch in Bray last week in­cluded ed­u­ca­tional work­shops, sem­i­nars, in­ter­ac­tive guided tours, film screen­ings and ac­tiv­i­ties to raise aware­ness of the detri­men­tal ef­fects of over­fish­ing and give use­ful in­for­ma­tion on sus­tain­able con­sumerism skills.

‘Fish forms an es­sen­tial part of our marine eco­log­i­cal sys­tem and a sta­ble com­po­nent in our lo­cal diet,' said Pat O'Suilleb­hain, man­ag­ing di­rec­tor of the Sea Life Cen­tre in Bray, 'while fish­ing con­sti­tutes an im­por­tant part of our cul­tural her­itage. With the com­mer­cial­is­ing of this sec­tor and habi­tat de­struc­tion, we have started wit­ness­ing an alarm­ing de­cline in our fish stock.'

To spread the word re­lat­ing to this im­por­tant eco­log­i­cal is­sue, Sea Life has also set up a Face­book dis­cus­sion board that can be ac­cessed on its SeaL­ife Face­book.

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