Sunday, 13 March 2011

Sea Change In Feelings On Fish

By Ben Aulakh

A recent survey has shown a sea change in British consumer’s attitude to how fish are caught, and their understanding of the potentially devastating effects of overfishing.

The evaluation by the Channel Four Britdoc foundation of the ground-breaking film ‘The End of Line’ has shown the documentary has had a significant impact on people’s attitude to buying fish.

The film, based on a book by Daily Telegraph journalist Charles Clover, set out to examine the potentially catastrophic effects of over fishing all over the world.

It highlighted how on every conceivable scale and estimate, that all stocks of large fish had declined by around 80 to 90 per cent worldwide.

The survey found that people’s commitment to buying sustainable fish rose from 43 per cent to 84 per cent after watching the film.

Survey results also showed that the commitment to buying responsibly sourced fish rose from 17 per cent to 82 per cent among those who were not aware of over fishing before seeing the film.

It was stated in the report that, “The End of the Line is a film which punched way above its weight in terms of press attention and awareness, above and beyond the size of the film audience.”

The survey also made it clear that, “Evidence shows The End of The Line persuades audiences of the importance of the issue of over-fishing and of the need to change their purchasing patterns.”

The report also concluded that many influential household names, from Pret a Manger to Whiskas cat food switched to using sustainably sourced fish as a result of the film.

The expose was also cited by television chef Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall as the inspiration behind his recent ‘Fish Fight’ campaign, also shown on Channel Four.

Only 10,000 people saw the film at the cinema, however more than 1 million have since seen it since.

Despite only costing £1 million to make, it’s been estimated that the amount of press attention and media coverage generated by the film can be put at more than £4 million.

More information about the film can be found at 

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