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RETAKE OUR PLATE FILM SERIES: "End of the Line" Movie! This Saturday/Sunday

  • Apr 4, 2010 · 1:00 PM
  • hollywood theater


This is a subject I've been researching for many years so I'm excited to see this film. Even if one doesn't eat fish it's good to know what's happening in the world especially if asked. These topics solidify vegan choices too.

Summary: Imagine an ocean without fish. Imagine your meals without seafood. Imagine the global consequences. This is the future if we do not stop, think & act. The End of the Line, the first major feature documentary film revealing the impact of overfishing on our oceans, had its world premiere at the Sundance Film Festival 2009 in the World Cinema Documentary Competition. In the film we see firsthand the effects of our global love affair with fish as food. The film examines the imminent extinction of bluefin tuna, brought on by increasing western demand for sushi; the impact on marine life resulting in huge overpopulation of jellyfish; & the profound implications of a future world with no fish that would bring certain mass starvation.

The End of the Line follows the investigative reporter Charles Clover as he confronts politicians & celebrity restaurateurs, who exhibit little regard for the damage they are doing to the oceans.

One of his allies is the former tuna farmer turned whistleblower Roberto Mielgo – on the trail of those destroying the world's magnificent bluefin tuna population. Filmed over two years, across the world – from the Straits of Gibraltar to the coasts of Senegal and Alaska to the Tokyo fish market – featuring top scientists, indigenous fishermen & fisheries enforcement officials, The End of the Line is a wake-up call to the world.

This movie will be shown at the historic Hollywood Theatre which is run by a non-profit group that restored the venue after a devastating fire & still maintains the building giving the area so much character.

Tickets are $6.50. The movie will also be shown on Saturday at 1pm if you are unable to make it on Sunday & still would like to see it.

This is also first in the Let's Retake Our Plate series of food related films that will be shown exposing our messed up Industrial Food Complex. Coming up this month is:
April 10 & 11 What’s on your Plate?
April 17 & 18 Tapped
April 24 & 25 FRESH (a NW Film)


The film was born from the book by Charles Clover, "
The End of the Line: How Overfishing Is Changing the World & What We Eat"

For more info read the supporting article at Salon.


According to a piece in the New York Times several months ago:

  • Three Norwegian-owned companies dominate the salmon-farming industry in North America, & their offshore net-cages dot long stretches of the west coast of the Americas. In Chile, overcrowding in these oceanic feedlots led to the year’s epidemic of infectious salmon anemia, a disease that has killed millions of fish & left the flesh of survivors riddled with lesions.
  • The situation in Canada, which supplies the United States with 40% of its farmed salmon, is not much better. In British Columbia, offshore net-cages are breeding grounds for thumbtack-sized parasites called sea lice. In the Broughton Archipelago, a jigsaw of islands off the province’s central coast, wild pink salmon are infested with the crustaceans. Scientists think that the tens of millions of salmon in Broughton’s 27 Norwegian-owned farms are attracting sea lice & passing them on to wild fish, killing them. They say that this infestation could drive Broughton’s pink salmon to extinction by 2011.
  • Half of each generation of wild salmon & sea trout fail to survive because of disease & parasites spread by farmed salmon, according to a study from Dalhousie University.
  • Out of 149 salmon farm site in British Columbia 130 are fully owned by Norwegian companies with only 19 having any Canadian concern.
  • 4,200 people gain employment from British Columbian's marine sports fisheries which contribute $158 million to the province's GDP while only 1800 are employed by the salmon farming industry.

Doesn't even touch on effects of pollution from feed & feces.

On slightly brighter side, fish are often contaminated with mercury & PCBs, all the more from the massive plastic trash piling up in the oceans, & those harmful chemicals are cumulative, more concentrated in the larger predators (what's endangering the Puget Sound Orcas & now the Inuit peoples) so it can make sense to get the healthy benefits from vegetable sources. Flax & Walnuts are two of the best sources for Omega 3 fatty acids (flax supplements also don't cause fishy burps; itself a sign of rancidity). Chia is another fantastic source; a high protein whole grain seed not unlike quinoa (also a good source). But there's also dark green leafy veggies & hemp seeds. Eggs high in O3 come from hens fed flax seed. And, where do fish get their Omega 3? Well, from sea veggies of course; humans can too & it doesn't have to go through the fish first. Spirulina, kelp, & more also have significant vitamins & minerals as well as the plant based sources having fiber which fish doesn't.

Much of the fish & seafood consumed in North America is actually from China — some getting held back from even a significantly under-staffed, financed & hog-tied FDA so how much is getting through? Amazingly much that comes from the rest of the world is sent to China for processing then sent back.

  • More than 80% of the seafood consumed in the U.S. is imported from approximately 130 countries, and over 40% of that seafood comes from aquaculture operations.
  • By volume, China is the largest exporter of seafood to the U.S., and 2nd largest in terms of monetary value. In particular, China exports significant amounts of shrimp & catfish products, which represent 2 of the 10 most consumed seafood products in the U.S.

From the World Watch Institute:
  • The world’s fish farmers and fishing fleets harvested 132.5 million tons of seafood in 2003 (the latest year for which data are available), nearly 7 times the harvest of 1950.
  • As more vessels work a limited number of fisheries, roughly 2/3rds of the world’s major stocks have been fished at or beyond their capacity. Another 10% have been harvested so heavily that fish populations will take years to recover.
  • In 2004, marine scientists concluded that industrial fleets had emptied the oceans of at least 90 percent of all large predators—tuna, marlin, swordfish, sharks, cod, halibut, skates, and flounder—in just the past 50 years.
  • Worldwide, fishers catch an estimated 18–40 MILLION TONS of fish and other marine creatures that are discarded—as much as half of all official marine landings.
  • In 2000, the world’s fishing fleets burned about 43 MILLION TONS of fuel to catch 80 MILLION TONS of fish. In other words, they use 12.5 times as much energy to catch fish as the fish provide to those who eat them.
  • The UN Food & Agriculture Organization estimates illegal fishing robs sub-Saharan Africa of more than $1.2 billion annually in stolen fish, unpaid taxes, & lost work.

Stats from Taras Grescoe's new book, Bottomfeeder: How to Eat Ethically in a World of Vanishing Seafood
  • Americans consume 70% more seafood than we did a generation ago
  • Fish consumption doubled worldwide in the last 30 years
  • Scientists predict all major fish stocks will collapse within our lifetimes; in other words, the world will run out of wild seafood by the year 2048.
  • Half a billion pounds are harvested each day!

According to a report in Science (PDF), 29% of the world's commercial fisheries have already collapsed.

A study by the University of British Columbia recently revealed that $30 to $40 billion in taxpayer subsidies is paid to the commercial fishing industry worldwide — $20 billion of which directly promotes the increase of fishing capacity. And the value of the world's catch at dockside is only $80 to $90 billion.

For more info check out Marine Fisheries and Aquaculture Series at PBS on the modern state of oceans & what, if anything is working to recover them.

On the land, agricultural practices mostly to support animal feed & ethanol are also collapsing fisheries, including in the Gulf & Chesapeake Bay by causing Dead Zones via run-off of the various chemicals used to grow commodity crops such as corn & soy (now also turned into fish food).

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