Announced by The NEF (New Economics Foundation), last week saw ‘fish dependence day’ the annual day where EU fish consumption exceeds domestic fish production. From now until the end of the year,, All fish consumed by EU nations will have to be imported.
Aside from issues with air miles and carbon emissions, importing food is not necessarily a bad thing as it maintains important trading relationships and allows nations play to their strengths in terms of efficient production.
However, the EU has a bit of a fishy problem. Many European fish stocks are already overfished, and have been for several years as a result of increasing fish consumption in the EU over the past 50 years. In response to this, imports from nonEU nations have also increased over this time. However, whilst the EU enforces fairly strict regulations in attempt maintain a sustainable fishing regime, international fisheries lack the implementation of such regulations, which as well as being unsustainable has depleted local communities of their own fish stocks, as well as playing complete havoc on ecosystems and food chains.
But don’t worry, It’s not all bad news! Firstly, UK fish dependence day is forecast for the 19th of September this year, meaning the UK is more self sufficient than the EU as a whole (nice to know in the midst of postBrexit madness!) Also, the proportion of overfished EU fish stocks has decreased since 2006 as a result of reduced fish dependence in the EU.
This announcement really highlights the need for alternative sources of food, which is where aquaponics has huge potential to contribute significantly to reducing sole reliance on EU and international fish stocks, and increase focus and production efforts of locally sourced food no oceans required! :)
So what do we think? IS aquaponics the answer? What contribution could aquaponics make to this? And how do we bring about change to implement these alternative sources?