While in Sydney last, we went fishing with Matt Rees of marine research group, ‘Fish Thinkers’ to understand more about how we should be moving towards a foraged bait system when we go fishing. Fishing is a passion of mine, and when we talk about the alarming rate of declining fish stocks in the world, it seems like a sensible move to fish for your catch. It was Hugh Fernley Whittingstall who opened my eyes to how impactful our food sourcing choices really are, and even if you are a fish lover who can’t do without their weekly (or daily) dose, there are certainly more sustainable species that we should be eating. I don’t really want to be preaching to anyone, but the fact is that we have a crisis on our hands – fish species that need a little bit of room to regenerate, and the wonderful thing about this Universe is that it has an incredible healing power.
The talented, passionate, and super dedicated folk behind Fish Thinkers are taking to social media to spread awareness and to simply document the joys of catching and releasing some bizarre and wonderful, fishy animals. Fishing to Matt Rees, a founder, is a meditational space where he finds himself catching and releasing fish to monitor their stocks. He explained to me that part of his job involves watching hours and hours of video footage, counting individual fish that love to flock by in schools. This is the painstaking process that is part of his journey as a marine conservationist but I admire his positivity and incredible attitude in spite of it.
So the fact of the matter is that we are targeting over popular species of fish that fuel a monstrous global fishing economy, but we really should be eating our fishy friends with much more consideration. Just like every food group we consume, the key idea is that we source as locally as possible, and when it comes to wild protein like fish, we need to make sure they exist in safe enough numbers to eat. Sydney siders, why not swap out that snapper for some ludderick? Or Londoners, how about giving mackerel and chips a try tonight?
Like everything in the Universe, it’s all relative.
The video above was funded by Conde Nast Traveler and Travel Australia, and we are chuffed that they see what we see here. Big thanks to Fish Thinkers and Matt Rees for taking my sister and I on a rad fishing adventure in Wattamolla Beach (NSW), and Onra for making the track. We fished for luderick that day using floats and some stinky weed bait, and you can learn how to do it yourself here.
Have a look at the Fish Thinkers site here too.