Fish – where would we be without it?

image of fish fight

‘Back in the caves,’ is the answer. This was one of the enlightening facts gleaned from my bedside reading at the weekend, The River Cottage Fish Book. It was the mind-expanding goodness in a chemical called DHA that allowed the brains in our ancestors homo erectus to expand and evolve into homo sapiens. And where did homo erectus get its DHA? By eating fish.

Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall lays out the arguments about how a healthy fish intake helps reduce the chances of diabetes and  children to develop better. And a new one on me – how the gloop at the bottom of the ocean contains one billion micro-organisms per cubic centimetre and that 80% of the 100 strains identified reduced cancerous cell growth. So, not only do we appear to owe our existence as intelligent creatures to the sea, but it could contain the cure to many of the diseases we suffer from.

The downside of this though is that we’ve become too ‘intelligent’ for our own good and are abusing the ocean in so many ways, including overfishing. This is why Hugh started his Fish Fight campaign which is aiming to change the EU rules about throwing by-catch back.

If you care about the state of our fisheries, the book contains some useful tips for practical action:

1. buy from sustainable fisheries – look for the Marine Stewardship Council blue fish tick logo and use the Marine Conservation Society fishonline.

2. eat locally caught fish and try different species (the River Cottage Fish Book is also a very good recipe book and available for under a tenner on the web).

3. sign up to Fish Fight campaign to reform EU rules.

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