When Matthew Evans leaves his Tasmanian farm to discover where the fish on Australian plates comes from, heGÇÖs quickly dragged hook, line and sinker into the complex world of AustraliaGÇÖs love affair with seafood. MatthewGÇÖs physical journey takes him from the industrial salmon farms of his home state, to the catastrophic trawling of Asian seas to feed our love of cheap prawns; from the depths of AustraliaGÇÖs threatened Great Barrier Reef, to the lucrative ranching of critically endangered species in South Australia. MatthewGÇÖs discoveries provoke him to ask some tough questions GÇô of the Australian fishing industry and of himself. When it comes to seafood, Australians simply arenGÇÖt being told enough about what theyGÇÖre eating. Here in the Lucky Country most of us assume that our seafood is all sustainably fished and safe to eat. But the reality is much more complicated. Fish labelling in Australia is at best crude, at worst deliberately deceptive. Matthew embarks on a campaign for truth in labelling. His goal is for all Australian seafood - fresh, cooked or preserved GÇô to carry labels that tell us clearly what species it is, where it is from and how it was caught. When we ask, GÇ£WhatGÇÖs the Catch?GÇ¥, we will be better informed and armed with the right information. We consumers can become part of the solution and choose seafood that is good for the oceans as well as us. There is a mountain to climb. Australia imports more than 70% of its seafood from overseas, where sustainability comes a distant second to the increasing demands of commercial production. And some of our own fishing practices leave a lot to be desired. Can we really lecture Asia about fishing when we are helping to overfish the endangered Southern Blue Fin Tuna? Every year humans kill around 100 million sharks. Australia is part of this environmental carnage. We import and export shark fins, and we unknowingly eat endangered species on a Friday night in our suburban chip shops. The biggest crisis confronting our consumption of seafood is just around the corner. In 2012 protein from fish farms exceeded world beef production for the first time in human history. If Australia really wants to rely less on imported seafood, we have to develop massive new aquaculture projects. Which species should we farm and how should we do it? By the time he returns to his farm and his family, Matthew will have confronted and re-examined some of his most cherished beliefs about food, nature, and the Australian GÇÿgood lifeGÇÖ and will have set in motion a bold campaign to change things for the better.
What's the Catch? with Matthew Evans
The shocking truth about AustraliaGÇÖs seafood