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Challenged by our ‘Two Selves’

By Dan Trotter on May 7, 2018 in Sport

A healthy looking New Zealand kingy, by Dan Trotter.

This past month I’ve been challenged by my own thoughts. I guess we all are from time to time. I used to feel like there were two personalities in my head, and now I know there are.
“Crazy?” I hear you ask. Nope, just honest with myself, and unashamedly honest with all of you. Recently I’ve been reading a lot about our ‘two selves’; the ‘experiencing’ self, and the ‘narrating’ self. Two personalities, if you like, existing within every one of us. So which voice do you listen to? On the one hand there’s the rational, forward thinking self, and on the other there’s the live in the now, do it if you want to or because it feels good self. This can be applied to any and all parts of our lives. Eat this, don’t eat that; sleep in, get up; exercise, meditate; get in to work early or stay back late; go home or have one more beer… and on the conversation goes.
One of the conversations that’s been really exercising my mind of late is one around consuming seafood, farmed animals or going vegan. It’s a popular topic in our Eastern Suburbs and one that can’t go unnoticed. Here’s my challenge: I’ve always been a staunch animal eater, so it’s a new concept for me to question this, especially since I’ve always been a fanatical fisherman, at least for as long as I remember. The other side of my personality cares deeply about the environment, the oceans, and even the individual fish I catch, kill and consume. Some people will think this makes me a hypocrite, others will just think it makes me human.
So the paradox is obvious, and it is the case for every one of us – only the topic changes. Truth be told, one of the conversations we have with ourselves always wins over, which is why there are vegans, gun-lovers, capitalists, conservationists, philanderers, liberals and whatever you call everyone else. One thing is constant and that’s the internal conflict. Ethical decisions have become a preoccupation of our society, and I have to admit that they’re weighing on my mind too. To eat fish, or to make the decision not to eat fish? The answer used to be so simple for me, but it’s one that’s becoming harder to stand by as the plight of our oceans grows.
So in this month of May’s Fish ‘n’ Tips article I want to draw your attention to the most sustainable fisheries that we have right here in our own backyard. Closest to the shore and accessible to all fisho’s are luderick, southern calamari squid, whiting (if you can catch them) and Australian salmon – all species that are considered to have sustainable local population levels, fast growth rates and high fecundity, which refers to an animal’s ability to produce an abundance of offspring or new growth. Add to this the recently recovered population of yellowtail kingfish and there really are quite a few options available when it comes to putting a feed on your plate, as long as you’re conscious of what you catch and kill and what you eat.
It’s time we all carefully considered what ends up on our dinner plate, where it came from and how it got there. We all need to commit to doing our best to reduce what we take from the world around us.