QI fish facts

Hi All

Imagine Stephen Fry has phoned and asked you to be a guest contestant on QI, and the topic on the show will be fish. Well here is some data that may be very useful, with this knowledge you may even beat Alan Davis.

Did you know everyone on the planet eats an average of 17kg of fish every year.
Europe definitely comes out as one of the world’s principle fish eaters. The UK’s average annual consumption is a measly 21kg which is somewhat dwarfed by Europe’s Gold medal winner Portugal who consume a staggering 56kg. Spain win silver with 42kg and France once again just get on the food leader board with a creditable 3rd and consumption figures of 35kg.

The worlds richer economies are increasingly demanding that retailers not only guarantee the fish they offer is of a high quality and safe to eat but that it comes from a sustainable fishery. Richard Graingers newly published “State of World Fisheries and Aquaculture 2010 Report” estimates that 85% of the world’s fish stocks are considered to be fully exploited with “no room for further expansion.” The problem is compounded by the vast extent of discarding. It’s conservatively estimated that in 2008 7 million tons of fish was tossed back into the sea mostly dead or dying rather than being landed. It’s not difficult to comprehend that the future has to be aquaculture.

In 2008 55 million tons of fish was produced globally by aquaculture. 90 million tons was caught in wild fisheries. Of the wild caught fish 80 million tons was taken from the sea and 10 million tons from river and lake systems. China alone produced 47.5 million tons of fish of which 14.8 million tons came from aquaculture. Which means China catches nearly 37% of the world’s wild fish catch, and fish farms 27% of the world’s total output. Researchers concluded that more people than ever before are eating fish an the industry has expanded to the extent that it now employs 8% of the human population. I can feel you all starting to nod off so that’s the end of facts and figures.

Was anyone aware of the gastronomic eclipse that occurred in London this week. The 3rd of February marked the Chinese New Year (the year of the rabbit) this was overshadowed by the much hyped opening of Heston’s Dinner. Has there ever been more column inches or twittering’s devoted to a restaurant opening, I think not.

Back to fishy matters, we will be launching our Faroe Var Salmon in 2 weeks time. For those of you that have not had a chance to sample this product we strongly recommend that you give this unique farmed product a try. We shall be selling this as a fresh fish product as well as giving it our bespoke smoking and curing treatment. Call me if you would like more information or a sample. The elver season in France has seen some very reasonable catches. I am pleased to announce that the fish authorities in Brussels have successfully been able to impose a ban on France exporting elvers outside the EU. This means that there will be realistic amounts of elvers available for conservation and restocking. The British fisheries will probably start fishing next month and here on the River Severn we have already committed to offering 40% of elver catches for restocking. With our tanks in schools scheme (see attachment) we hope to give the elvers an even better chance of survival. Anyone keen to get involved in our sustainable eel campaign do not hesitate to give me a call.

Speak soon. Dai Francis