IF YOU weren’t watching More4 at 10:00 tonight you missed a real treat – the first UK television screening of The End of the Line, Rupert Murray’s remarkable documentary film which is changing the way people think about the future of the world’s sea fish populations.

Mitsubishin controls 60% of Atlantic bluefin tuna production
Mitsubishi controls 60% of Atlantic bluefin tuna production

Immensely watchable; immensely frightening, it charts the activities of humans around the planet which, unrestrained, will – WILL, not maybe will – result in the extinction of the fish we eat by the middle of the century.

Leaving what? Just mud and worms, and maybe jellyfish burgers, according to Prof Callum Roberts, author of the sea conservation ‘bible’ The Unnatural History of the Sea.

Among the many disturbing soundbites the film delivers are:

  • 1.2 billion in the world depend on fish for their diet.
  • Mitsubishi is in control of 60% of the entire tuna production of the Atlantic.
  • Five kilos of anchovies turned into fishmeal, generates one kilo of salmon.
  • 7 million tons 1/10th of the world’s catch goes back over the side every year.
  • Every other fish on your plate was stolen – stolen from you.

Who is acting to stop us reaching the end of the line? Our vacillating Government? The bureaucratic posturing of the EU? Other world governments? Deep sea trawlermen? Er, apparently not.

Us, the recreational anglers? Yes, by encouraging the proliferation of marine reserves from their present 0.6% of the oceans to 20-30%.

Us the consumers? Certainly. To start, we need to know where the fish on our table comes from; how it was caught. And if it’s not sustainable we need to stop eating it.

If there was an orang-utan or panda steak on the menu on your next night out, would you eat it?

Catch the film as soon as you can.