Saturday, 5 May 2012

Connecting the Dots

by Linda from The Witches Kitchen

I was looking back through my blog this week, looking for topics that have been neglected for a while. And I realised that I haven't done a "Sustainable Seafood" post for so long. And it is because I haven't had fresh caught fish to experiment with for so long.

My partner is a mad keen fisherman. I think fishing is a kind of meditation for him, with the by-product of food that lets him feel like he is doing something productive. His ultimate relaxation is standing thigh deep in water gazing out into the ocean, waiting, thinking about nothing but whether the bait is right, the weight is right, the cast is right, and how beautiful the ocean is.

He has fished all his life. He hasn't suddenly lost the knack. He hasn't stopped going fishing every chance he gets. He's just not having lucky fishing trips. He catches some, occasionally, but he hasn't caught a dinner party's worth for ages. I suddenly realised this week that he hasn't caught enough to inspire me to create a new recipe for a long time, and before that, for a long time.

There's a lot of luck in fishing. You can get the right tide, the right wind, the right time of day, the right bait, the right rig, even the right attitude and still not catch anything. Then the next time hit a run of tailor and pull them in one after another. And as any statistician will tell you, there's probability mathematics that says that it's not that unusual to get runs of luck. So you can't put the lack of fish on any individual fishing trip down to the collapse of marine ecosystems. You have to step back enough to see the big picture for that, and connect the dots.