Tell the government to buy sustainable fish

Posted by Willie — 9 March 2011 at 5:46pm - Comments
Hugh and Jamie during filming of the Fish Fight series
All rights reserved. Credit: Daphne Christelis / Greenpeace
Hugh and Jamie during filming of Fish Fight outside Westminster

"Greenest government ever." That’s the phrase that’s already been used to slap the current UK administration a fair few times. It’s an ambitious claim, but it seems even on the black-and-white issues UK ministers can’t quite bring themselves to go green.

Take fish. It's been big news recently with Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s Fish Fight, the lasting fall-out from the End of the Line, campaigns from people like us on tinned tuna, and the overarching shadow of European Fisheries Policy reform next year. There is now an undeniable desire for fish to be ‘sustainable’ and ‘sustainably-sourced’, and even the average voter-on-the street is aware of that.

When it comes to things the government can influence directly, few are as obvious as their own purchasing policies. If the government wanted to source sustainable fish, then it could simply decide that was what it was going to do – only buy fish from sustainable sources. That would mean all the fish paid for with a government cheque book - such as the stuff served up in the Westminster canteen and at official events - wasn’t costing the earth. You’d think this was a no-brainer.

But here’s the thing: at the moment the government is suggesting it will only source 60 per cent of its fish from sustainable sources.

Pardon? Just over every second fish will be sustainable? How pathetically unambitious.

There are a number of ironies here – but I’ll give you just three:

Makes you wonder, huh? The government are intent on spending their - sorry, our - money on unsustainable fish... so it seems only right that we tell them that this is simply unacceptable.

We know this issue is being discussed now in Whitehall, so please add your voice to ours and Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s, and let the government know that when it comes to fish they need to go 100 per cent green.

Fish is supposed to be brain-food, and this is a no-brainer. Let’s make the government think again. After all, if it’s good enough for Boris and Larry, it’s good enough for Dave and Nick too.

Tell the government to commit to serving up 100 per cent sustainable seafood.

About Willie

Hi, I'm Willie, I work with Greenpeace on all things ocean-related

Twitter: @williemackenzie

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