DCSIMG

Oily fish slip-up

As someone who grew up in an east coast fishing village, it’s news to me that “mackerel is, traditionally, a resource that has sustained fishing communities for centuries” (your report, 22 January).

Haddock and cod (“white fish”) and herring, each in its season, were the mainstays of the Scottish fishing industry, with herring the main ­money-spinner.

Mackerel, rightly or wrongly, was regarded as dirty and a “bottom-feeder”, although in recent times it has usurped the place of ­herring as the oily fish of choice for a healthy heart. Now I see that we are being urged to abandon mackerel for herring again.

As for over-fishing of mackerel by the Faroese and the Icelanders, they are only going “back to basics”, and maybe we should be relieved Iceland’s hunter-gatherers are only after our mackerel and not our savings.

Harry D Watson

Edinburgh

 

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