QUICKPOST: Global fishing industry, again


After the seminal post on this blog which was about the corruption involved within the global fishing industry, and the damage that this industry does to wildlife, turns out Netflix are now bringing out a documentary about…the corruption involved within the global fishing industry, and the damage that this industry does to wildlife.

I don’t know why these issues about the fishing industry are now coming to the fore, seemingly all at once. That said, I have heard about all these issues before, even years ago. However in the day to day hustle and bustle of life I was able to allow myself to forget these issues, to put them to the back of my mind and essentially to forget them altogether, to carry on living my life without making any changes. However now it feels for me as if things have gotten to the point where these fishing industry issues can no longer be ignored, rationalised away, or swept under the carpet.

Ironically since writing that first post and deciding to avoid fish, I have found myself eating it more than usual. That is for the simple reason that a relative gave me a gift of some fish. Even though I don’t know its provenance, I have still been eating it. In fact I was in my local supermarket recently and they have re-introduced a variety of fish which I have previously found to be perfect for my daily onion and ginger soup/stew* and in the moment, right up until now I completely forgot that I have sworn off buying fish for the foreseeable future. So what eventually stopped me from buying it was the fact that my freezer is just not big enough.

So all told, it is good to be reminded about how serious these issues are. Modern life is such that there are so many environmental and social justice breaches with pretty much any product you can buy, that it seems that for mere survival you have to be constantly compromising your standards, and rationalising. I’m sure that it must be hard to find any product that is thoroughly “clean and green”, unless you grow it yourself! However even with that understood sometimes there comes a point where you have to draw a line in the sand and say “No more.” I think that the issues with the fishing industry are so egregious that by now they have reached that point, and far exceeded it.


*A recipe you ask? Oh very well! This is sincerely the easiest soup in the world, and also possibly the most delicious, and that precise combination of factors is probably why I make it every day!
This recipe serves one hungry woman but you can easily multiply the ingredients as necessary to feed as many people as needed.

Finely chop a small – medium sized onion (brown, red or spring onions all work wonderfully), grate a thumb-sized piece of ginger, and cut up a small/tiny piece of scotch bonnet to taste. I have a strong tolerance for heat/spicy foods and I tend to use approx a quarter of an average sized scotch bonnet – and that tends to produce a soup that I find pleasantly spicy. If you are not accustomed to scotch bonnets trust me they are HOT! So if new to them I’d say go very, very sparingly! If you are a fan of garlic, 3 cloves or so finely chopped add very nicely to the taste.
Add a maggi stock cube to a small / average sized mug, then add about an inch of boiling water. Use a fork to dissolve the maggi cube in the water, then fill the mug up to about 3 quarters of the way full with more boiling water.

In a small – medium saucepan, on a medium heat heat two tablespoons of olive oil/sunflower oil/whichever other cooking oil you have to hand, until sizzling. For the different flavours to successfully meld together the oil truly has to get hot, I’d say get it as hot as you reliably can without triggering your smoke alarm!
Fry the onion until tender, if using garlic, add it then fry briefly until lightly toasted, then add the ginger and scotch bonnet frying them until gently cooked.

Add the dissolved maggi cube solution, taking care that the steam from the water hitting the bottom of your saucepan does not burn your fingers.
Add some meat of your choice and boil until thoroughly cooked: I’ve previously tried this soup with the following meats, and it works brilliantly with everything! You can use raw meat or cooked; to make the meat cook faster I tend to cut it up into small sugarcube sized chunks, however you can use whole pieces if you wish, but then you can adjust the cooking time accordingly, and possibly add more boiling water if needed.

FISH: Salmon, Whitebait (the fish that was back in the supermarket! The reason why this particular fish is perfect is because they are tiny, so even from frozen they cook very fast, so you can can just keep some in your freezer, ready to make this soup whenever), sprats, mackerel, mackerel fillets, pollock. I’m not encouraging anyone to go out and buy fish of course, but in case you happen to have a reliable and responsible source at hand…
RED MEAT: Goat meat,
WHITE MEAT: Chicken (I prefer roasting the chicken before adding it to the stew for a deeper flavour), Chicken gizzards (I’m an African; yes I eat them, and proud of it!), also those deli chicken slices you can get. Possibly smoked turkey too but that is very salty to start with so you have to boil the salt out of the smoked turkey first before adding it to the soup. I’d also recommend using half a stock cube instead of the full one (dissolve a whole stock cube in an inch of water as previously, then put half of that stock cube solution into a fresh mug, fill up to 3 quarters full etc)
FAUX MEAT: I’ve tried this with “Meat Free Farms” faux “minced beef”, and it worked brilliantly. Also with vegetarian, egg-based “frankfurters” from Lidl. I would also like to try with other types of faux meat.

Sometimes (v rarely) to save myself having to cook a separate veggie course I will add some broccoli and cabbage to the soup as it is boiling. In that case though I will leave out the scotch bonnet altogether and often too the meat otherwise for my taste there are just too many flavours going on.

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