We’ve been ‘panic fishing’ our resources for years


By J Brock (FINN)


Certain basic truths about over-fishing are hitting home right now, when ramifications of panic buying in food retail outlets is observed.   I will use the recent panic-buying of cat food and toilet paper as examples.


The Falklands are at the end of a complicated and increasingly expensive supply chain obstacle course.  Nonetheless the fine art of ordering supplies for a population of 3,000 has been responsible for people obtaining food and sundry supplies on time, within budget and in a reasonably fresh condition – that is until the spate of panic buying turned heads and made living uncomfortable for many of us.



Mr. Crunch-bones had a change of diet recently.  Now processed cat food is a distant memory.

Photo (c) J Brock (FINN)


Problems with the lack of toilet paper are obvious but fortunately did not severely affect supplies like the panic buying of cat food did.  For the most part, our supplies lasted, and the panic up north didn’t affect our supply chain.  However, some people up north are harboring a fire hazard, not least a home for creepy crawlers – not something I would like to use in the loo.


People who did a weekly shop for cat food found non-existent supplies and cut up meat for Moggy.  In turn, when supplies returned, Moggy didn’t want to know, and had to be weaned off cut up meat before it was economical to purchase processed cat food again.  Meanwhile, the 7.5% increase in cat food sales will quickly dwindle into negative territory.


On a larger scale, over-fishing, the removal of a species of fish from a body of water at a rate that the species cannot replenish, has been practiced for centuries.  The only difference is that when the fish are panic caught as is some practice at present, there will be no supply left.  Too many species disasters mean fish is off the menu for humans as well as cats.


And don’t think that your stock of tins and/or pouches will last you either.  They have sold-by and use by dates.  You may find that food that would have fed Moggy before the use by date, is rotten, needing to be destroyed.


Humans have turned oceans into cesspits and garbage dumps, so the supply off eatable fish is running out fast.  That won’t stop countries with many mouths to feed from over-fishing.  When a species is gone, they will move on to something else, including stocks of Krill – a basic food stuff for many species of fish.  It won’t be until nothing is left that they will stop.


Whether from the ocean or off the shelf, food supplies need to be fair for everyone, including the species of fish that inhabit our oceans.  We should think as a community rather than every man or woman for himself or herself.


The alternatives, while keeping the people and cats fed, means that one day, there won’t be any more.  Once the supplies of cat food mount, due to not being sold, production will decrease.  On the other hand, once the krill are gone and the fish are starved, the resource will be gone.


I would say, take only what you need.  There is no sense in wasting 27% of the fish you catch, when, if left in the ocean it would mean the species will recover.  There’s also no sense in panic buying food that everyone needs.  In many cases, storing it only means wasting it, when tins become out of date and colonies of bacteria and bugs infest the toilet paper you can’t use up in time.


Locally, I suggest you bring the toilet paper and cat food you are hording to a place of collection (possibly for sale) to a central point so that people, inconvenienced by panic buying, can begin to wean their cats off the food that is meant for human consumption….and not have any nasty surprises in the loo.


Statistics source: Wikipedia