How to Kill a Fish

In honour of my week dedicated to Anthony Bourdain, I widened my net (oh god) looking for interesting stories and have been pouring more sources about food. I can’t hold the same reverence for gastronomy and it’s ingredients as Bourdain could, but I can respect that same effort and attention to detail.

With my eyes opened a little wider, I am looking at the food I consume. Where does it come from? How was it raised/sourced? (A dichotomy that is explored in the article: the warmer an animals blood the more effort we take in raising it, for everything else, how little of the environment do we destroy when sourcing it.) And most importantly, how much did I enjoy eating it?

After learning about how we slaughter fish commercially, I have re-evaluated my stance on it. I don’t often eat fish. When I do, I try my best to buy ethically and environmentally friendly sourced fish. Turns out, none of that matters from a moral and taste perspective. This article turned my stomach the more I read, not because of any grotesque details, although those are there, it was the moral weight of it.

There’s not one massive buyer who can set a blanket rule [for humanely killing wild caught fish]. Plus, the amount of money it would cost to humanely kill them all would raise the price to ten times what we currently pay, according to Culum Brown, associate professor of vertebrate evolution and director of Higher Degree Research at Macquarie University. “I can envision a future, maybe 10 or 20 years down the track, where wild fish are so rare maybe it will become a premium product, and people will be willing to pay for a fish that’s wild and killed humanely,” he told me. “My feeling is that most of the wild stocks will collapse long before we get to that position. It just won’t be economically viable.”

What a quote. No need worrying about a solution for this small issue, when the whole class of problem will go extinct. If the conclusions this article raises are true, then perhaps fish should cost considerably more.


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