One day, there’ll be no more real fish

Published on 31/01/20

Will fish be the meat of tomorrow? At a time when we are bringing into question meat consumption for health and sustainable development reasons, could fish become a substitute? There’s no guarantee if we are to believe the alarming figures on ocean pollution and devastating fishing techniques. Unless, as it has done for meat, science gets involved.


It is (still) fish on Friday?

Yes, according to European Commission scientists. World consumption of fish products will have doubled in 50 years, from 10kg/year/person in 1960 to more than 20kg/year/person in 2014. Aficionados of sea bass and prawn cocktail may think it’s good news. The reality is more complex than that. Because this increase in consumption puts inexorable pressure on marine life. Results: intensive fishing, diminishing resources and even the disappearance of certain species…the sea’s resources are sinking.

Let’s go (sustainable) fishing and consuming.

What’s the solution? As with so many of our consumer habits, it’s all down to reduction. Experts estimate today that we should eat three times less fish and we should diversify. That means less of the battered cod and salmon fish cakes and more mullet, sardines and mackerel, which are all rich in omega 3 and are cheaper. The choice must also take into account the fishing area and technique. These two pieces of information should be displayed at the point of sale.

So, tomorrow, will it be fish without fish?

Why not? Last month we told you about synthetic meat and the considerable progress that has been made in terms of taste and price. Faced with the collapse of fish stocks, research is advancing in this area. The Californian company IMPOSSIBLE FOODS has embarked on the creation of fish meat based on soya, proteins and an anchovy broth for flavour. Other avenues are also being explored, based on a plant called konjac, from the ginger family, which is also known for its detoxifying properties. So tomorrow, fake meat and fake fish…will we have to give up the true pleasure of real produce? Perhaps not, if science and our conscience help us advance responsibly.


The Main Think

70% of our planet is made up of water. However, pollution, global warming and the plastic continent are pushing this sensitive ecosystem that feeds us all to its limits. If sustainable fishing is gaining ground in the various seas, its movement is too slow to stem diminishing resources. The only salvation can come from better informed consumers as well as from technological advances.