Shoulda Asked Sheila: the fishy issue

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Sheila McCrindle and Kate Aley

Shoulda Asked Sheila, Number 2

The burning food issues of the day chopped up, hashed over and served back hot and satisfying.

By Sheila McCrindle and Kate Aley

Kate asked: Sheila, how on earth are we supposed to know what is ethical and sustainable when it comes to buying fish? Once it seemed that farming fish was going to be the answer to depleted ocean stocks, but now it seems aquaculture is actually a sign of the impending apocalypse…

Sheila replied: I know, oh how I miss shrimp. The issues around farmed fish are many. Salmon especially gets a bad rap for containing lots of antibiotics, spreading parasites to wild fish and generally being grown in disgusting habitat conditions.

K: So what about buying wild fish?

S: Wild fish stocks are becoming scarcer world-wide and there is the terrible waste of fish and many other sea creatures – known as “by-catch” - are caught and killed in the huge nets but will never be eaten.

K: I hear those immense ‘siene’ nets drag along the bottom of the ocean so thoroughly they are destroying habitat as well…

S: Indeed, yes. The big ships with their big nets, catching as much as possible as quickly as possible, do an awful lot of damage. There is also the issue of slave labour on fishing boats. People can be sold to a boat which may not return to port for months or years. The reports of conditions on these ships for the workers are beyond appalling.

K: So, we should boycott eating any kind of fish then?

S: Well, it is very grim. But, here for your inspiration, is a marvelous TED talk by the extremely charming Dan Barber about how he fell in love with a fish – actually two fish. It is worth the 18 minutes to hear him make a plea for a food system based on ecology and restoring resources and which produces food which actually tastes good.

K: So, what is an ordinary person who would like a bit of fish in their diet to do?

S: Luckily, there is an organization called Sea Choice. On their website you can find more information than you would have believed possible about buying ethical and sustainable fish. Regrettably, they do not label or certify seafood products – that would make our lives too easy - but they do provide a list of sustainability labels which we should all be looking for at the fish counter.

K: And what about the people who catch their own?

S: I really don’t know anything about personal fishing except that I think it is very well regulated by provincial authorities as far as I know. And there are fish consumption guides for people who eat what they catch. So good on them.

Take away message: Educate yourself, read the labels and eat with care.

Nos autres nouvelles / Our other News

Riding in style: massive upgrade to Pontiac bus route

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Kate Aley

It's smooth and it's quiet with internet access, a 36" flat screen TV and reclining seats and it leaves Allumette Island at 10 minutes to 5 am every day. This is the new coach that runs Route 148 and you can be on it. This week, riders taking the Campeau Bus Line to the city were treated to a brand-new luxury coach, a demonstration vehicle in service before the permanent vehicle becomes available in about a weeks time.

Slipping back: background facts

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Kate Aley

Welcome back. While I wait for my file on the accident (December 4) to be retrieved by the MRC des Collines police, I placed calls to two local people, experts on the trucking of manure. For those who are coming in late to this, see my previous "slippery" stories archived here.

Slippery story: the update

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Kate Aley

On Monday December 4, a serious accident was caused by some kind of slippery fluid being splashed all over the highway in Luskville. Many people commented on the unexpectedly deep puddles, the effort it took to stay on the road and the horrible stink of it. There was so much, a snow plow was called in to strip it off the road. What was that stuff? Where did it come from? I managed to find someone to talk to from the MTQ within two days. But as yet, my attempts to get information about this incident from the MRC des Collines police have been unproductive. 

Warming up for Christmas at the Santa Claus Parade

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Kate Aley

Once more the Quyon Lions' Club Santa Claus Parade, held Saturday December 9, was a great success. Warmly-dressed families lined the streets to enjoy the decorated floats, horses and of course, St. Nick himself. As the Beach Barn is conspicuously absent this year, the parade's normal route was reversed, with participants gathering at the Ste. Marie's Catholic church parking lot and walking down the hill to the intersection with Clarendon. From there, the parade continued to the Onslow Elementary School gym where hot food and drinks were served as kids lined up to speak to Santa about a few important matters.

Slippery sh*t: unidentified effluent causes accident

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Kate Aley

A serious single-vehicle roll-over was caused early morning on December 4 by a deep slick of some kind of waste matter spilled on Highway 148 near Parker Road in Luskville. Pools of what appeared to be septic waste or liquid animal manure were at least two or three meters in length and possibly 4 cm in depth, according to witnesses.

Christmas House Tour lights up the night

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Kate Aley

The houses on the Quyon Pastoral Charge Christmas House Tour warmly received 150 visitors this year. Five family homes in Quyon and Luskville were decorated to perfection to the appreciation of all. Above, the Draper homestead in Luskville.

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