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The End of the Line for Wild Seafood? Say It Ain’t So!

July 19, 2010

By Pat Tanner

It’s a clear sign that the situation is dire when the companies behind McDonald’s, Long John Silver’s, and Red Lobster embrace the movement to save the world’s ocean fish. With the best scientific minds predicting that our oceans will be emptied of our favorite food fish by 2048 due to overfishing, these companies have begun working with ocean scientists and interested nonprofit groups.

Contributing factors to this looming disaster include: mismanagement of the world’s wild fishing grounds, illegal fishing, human population growth, and increased consumption of seafood – especially the explosion in the popularity of sushi.

And these developments don’t even take into account the BP calamity in the Gulf. Nevertheless, you’d have to have had your head in the sand to miss, for example, a recent story in the Wall Street Journal citing a United Nations study that predicts that unless something changes, nearly all commercial fisheries will be producing less than 10% of their onetime potential by the middle of the 21st century. (About 30% are already there.) Or the cover story of a recent New York Times Magazine about the doomed fate of bluefin tuna, that delicacy so beloved of sushi eaters worldwide.

To learn about strategies to reverse the impending tragedy of “an ocean without fish” and “meals without seafood,” the Princeton Public Library and that town’s Mediterra Restaurant are joining forces on Tuesday, July 27, when they will present a free screening of The End of the Line, a major documentary about overfishing which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in 2009.

After the screening, Mediterra, which is a two-minute walk from the library, will host a dinner and discussion with Michael Dimin, whose business, Sea to Table, connects local fishermen from sustainable wild fisheries in Alaska, Tobago, and the American South to leading restaurant chefs. The four-course meal, featuring Sea to Table seafood and wine pairings, is $60 per person, excluding tax and gratuity.

The free screening of “The End of the Line” begins at 6 p.m. at the Princeton Public Library on Tuesday, July 27. For location and directions, visit princeton.lib.nj.us.

The four-course dinner and discussion follows the screening of the film, which has a runtime of 85 minutes. For reservations, directions, and information phone Mediterra at 609.252.9680.

For information about Sea to Table, visit sea2table.com.

For information about the film, visit endoftheline.com.

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