★ Phoenix - Protect the seas

Phoenix docs - To protect the seas - Fish without remorse

We eat too much fish: on average almost 20 kilograms per capita + year. Over the last five decades, our fish consumption has doubled + the global fish stock has halved.

Industrial ship trawlers fish the seas empty. Every year, huge quantities of fish land in the nets as by-catch. And even the feed for sustainable aquacultures usually comes - from the sea. How can you protect fish and still eat them with a clear conscience? "plan b has found resourceful conservationists who have ideas for this.

One solution comes from Andalusia. In a sustainable + ecological fish farm, biologist Miguel Medialdea looks after a million fish in ponds covering thousands of hectares - right next to a nature reserve. The water comes from a river, is rich in nutrients + the fish thrive here almost as if they were in the wild.

The water area is also a nesting and resting place for 250 bird species. They eat the fish + excess algae, thus ensuring a gentle and natural selection. "We want to show here that it is possible to run a business and still remain in harmony with nature", biologist Medialdea describes his concept. The fish grow more slowly which means they have a different consistency + taste better.

In Germany, the protection of fish and other marine life is also being considered. At the Thuenen Institute, Daniel Stepputtis and Isabella Kratzer are developing intelligent nets to reduce by-catch. This is the name given to everything that ends up in the net unintentionally: not only fish that are too small or the wrong fish, but also protected animals such as the porpoise.

Again + again, the animals get tangled up in the gillnets of fishermen in the North Sea and Baltic Sea and die miserably. "plan b" accompanies the researchers as they deploy specially developed "sonar nets" that detect the whales underwater - and can thus "swim around" them. "We can't get upset about whale hunting in Japan or Norway and just stand by + do nothing," says Project Manager Stepputtis.

Broadcasting on 09nd of February 2020 at 1.30pm on Phoenix

Music: POPVIRUS Library