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Have We Eaten The Last Fish Of Mediterranean?

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Have We Eaten The Last Fish Of Mediterranean?
Photo Sina on Flickr

Italians have long enjoyed the Mediterranean lifestyle with a diet abundant in legumes, vegetables, wine, olive oil and seafood. But this diet may soon be extinct as a new report indicates Italians have depleted the Mediterranean Sea of fish. In other words, Italians have officially eaten their last catch.

This is according to data collected by the new economics foundation and disseminated by Ocean2012, a coalition dedicated to reforming European fisheries. This alarming news was reported in the Italian newspaper La Stampa, which ran a recent article about how Italy will have to import all of its fish. Italians may have been the first ones to deplete their fishstocks but they are not the only ones.

For years, there have been warnings about the impacts of overfishing and many have called for sustainable fishing practices. Now, Europeans are living the consequences of over fishing.  About 75 percent of all European fishstock is being overfished, according to Ocean2012. If Europeans were to consume only fish from their own waters, Ocean2012 estimates that European fishstock will run out July 6.

At this rate of consumption, France will run out of fish on the 21st of May,  Spain will follow on the 25th of May and the United Kingdom's fishstock will expire the 21st of August. According to these estimates by Ocean2012, Portugal ran out of fish on the 30th of March followed by Germany on the 20st of April.

We can see what the problems with over fishing are but what are the solutions? How can we spur a movement for ethical sushi and sustainable fishing? 

These questions were raised at Slow Fish 2011, an event held in Genova last May by the Slow Food association to promote sustainable fishing in Italy and across the world. Just this week, the organics supermarket Whole Foods announced it will stop selling nine types of unsustainable fish.

That's why Ocean2012 is calling for an ammendent to Article 2 of the Common Fisheries Policy in Europe. The ammendent would establish tighter regulations to prevent overfishing by allowing fishstock to naturally replenish before it is caught. Ocean2012 put together a video that explains the problem and the possible solutions to the European fish crisis.

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