First winners for The End of the Line reviews competition

A few weeks ago we asked you to send us your reviews of The End of the Line, with the promise of prizes and fame.

We said there would be giving away film-related items and that we would publish a selection on the site.

The End of the Line official cinema poster

The End of the Line official cinema poster

Well, the prizes have been decided upon. We will be giving away four official cinema posters for The End of the Line, which are not available to buy anywhere. They will also be signed by a senior member of The End of the Line team.

Below are the first two winners - well done to Ruth H Leeney and Cécile Eclache. Your posters will be on their way shortly.

If you have seen the film, and haven’t already sent us your thoughts, email a review with your name, location and contact details to . We have another two film posters to give away, we’ll announce the winners in the coming weeks.

Every school child should see this film

As a marine biologist, I was already aware of the issues dealt with in The End of the Line. I try to limit my consumption of seafood overall, and to only consume those species which I know to have come from healthy stocks and to have been caught in a sustainable manner. I’m left with some fairly limited choices.

Despite already being aware of the facts presented by the film, I was forced to re-visit them in a painful way. This is not a negative - everyone should be aware of the serious nature of these issues. The urgency with which they were conveyed is long overdue.

The narrative was not oversimplified but nor was it deeply technical, making the film extremely accessible to all audiences. In this way, it really struck me as one of the best tools available now, to deal with this looming issue of the decline of the world’s fisheries. Every school child should see this film.

As a piece of art, I believe that The End of the Line was also a success, although as the film progressed, I became so engrossed in its powerful message that I lost my awareness of the aesthetics of the film. I do remember the opening sequence of beautiful underwater images.

I also thought that the film encompassed aspects of all sides of the fishing story - the vessels, from artisanal to industrial; the fish species themselves; the markets, the fishermen, the local communities in places like Senegal which are exploited by the fishing industries of the western world, using insightful but unbiased footage.

And after the film? Suddenly, my personal choices were not enough. I need to talk to more people about this. I need to convey this message to my friends in the restaurant business. To all my friends, and their friends too. To encourage people to see the film, and to bring it into their lives through the choices they make in what they eat.

The graceful yet horrifying, beautiful yet stark messages of this film will, I hope, make a difference to an issue which concerns us all. By Ruth H Leeney

Ethical is more profitable long-term that illegal

Firstly, hats off to Charles Clover for his enlightening and complete coverage of the issues surrounding the business of fisheries and ocean conservation. Secondly, hats off to the filming team for exposing the realities of the problems in all the varied locations, and for presenting the issues from many perspectives and sources.

Those types of documentaries need to become mainstream cinema, and seen in schools as part of their mandatory curricula. Bringing awareness is essential, but I fear it takes pounding and pounding at people’s minds before they even consider modifying their consumption habits or thinking about those issues as impacting their future and their children.

Being French living in California for the last 15 years, and knowing that when it comes to quite a few environmental (and public health) issues, Europe is more eco-conscious, I was surprised to learn about the fisheries crimes and illegalities committed by Spain mainly, but many others too.

I have little by little changed my food buying habits, to include local produce, grass-fed and local meat, and sustainable and local fish, and rejecting endangered, non-local, as well as farmed species in most cases. Living on the coasts it is possible, especially for some shellfish species and seasonal fish. Of course, this requires paying a lot more for, and eating a lot less of, what we like.

But this is the same issue as grass-fed/pastured v industrial meat: animal and fish consumption can and should become part of a special, if not sacred meal; the change needs to happen at a profoundly cultural and maybe even religious level. But being creatures of habit, we have deep-rooted food and lifestyle traditions that just keep us going… until it’s too late.

In addition, I think the issue of overfishing is especially difficult (hence important) to bring to the public’s attention because what seems to affect consumers most when it comes to a food product is whether is it beneficial to their health and safe for consumption.

The fisheries models of Iceland, New Zealand, and the MSC presented in the book are a revelation of sensibility and feasibility. Doesn’t it make you angry to know that it can be done, that governments and organizations can help tremendously, yet they choose not to?

Reading the book alone with its impressive million tons of fish statistic, one doesn’t quite realize what those represent. The documentary is an essential addition to the reading, in that it slaps you with the visuals of the real amounts and the real destruction of this ‘invisible’, precious resource. Hearing the fishermen stories also made a huge impact.

One comment in the documentary however did raise my eyebrows: that if on the menu at Nobu, there was any other kind of endangered wildlife species, people would rally and protest and they could never get away with it. Yes, unless we had been eating that species for a such long time that it had become part of our food traditions. But then maybe, most people are indeed aware of the bluefin tuna state, and still are passive. I know I wasn’t aware before The End of the Line.

I wish that governments and fisheries will step up and realize that ethical is more profitable long-term that illegal.

My new motto, inspired from the movie, is “Just because we can, doesn’t mean that we should”. By Cécile Eclache


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