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Mario Batali's Carnevino Hosts Screening of The End of the Line

One day, Elizabeth Meltz, Director of Food Safety and Sustainability (that sounds like a fun gig) of B & B Hospitality Group went to her boss, Mario Batali, with a DVD and said, “You’ve got to check this out.”  The boss popped some popcorn, kicked off his Crocs (yes, I will make a Crocs reference in every post I write involving Batali and/or one of his restaurants), watched the movie and said, “My staff needs to see this.”  The movie was the mind-blowing documentary The End of the Line.

The End of the Line

The End of the Line

The End of the Line, written by British journalist, Charles Clover, and directed by Rupert Murray is a documentary about the devastating effects of global over-fishing.  It is estimated that since records began to be kept in 1952, nearly 90% of the world’s fish population is gone due to over-fishing.  Tasty fishies such as the Bluefin Tuna or Black Cod are on the brink of extinction because we can’t stop eating them, so fishermen can’t stop fishing for them.

The statistics in this film are simply jaw-dropping.  There is enough fishing line from commercial boats in the water right now that if you tied it all from end to end, it could circle the globe 550 times over!  The biggest trawling net being used by a commercial fisherman right now could cover 13 747 jumbo-jets!

Screening of The End of the Line at Carnevino

Screening of The End of the Line at Carnevino

What may be the worst number in the film, however, is 2048.  2048 is the year scientists predict the world’s oceans will no longer have any of the fish we eat today if we don’t drastically change our fishing practices and consumer habits.  That’s not just a species like Big Eye Tuna, Wild Salmon or Chilean Sea Bass…that’s ALL of them!

There needs to be reform on so many different levels, political is certainly one of them.  The film covers the failures of the European Union’s Environmental Ministers.  Scientists say to sustainably fish Bluefin Tuna in the Mediterranean Sea, they need to keep the fishing to 15,000 tons of tuna, 10,000 tons if they want a recovery of the species.  The E.U. Ministers however have set limits on fishermen at nearly double the recommended allowance at 29,500 tons!  If that’s not bad enough, the fishing is so poorly regulated and enforced that it is estimated fishermen take nearly 61,000 tons, or nearly 1/3 of the entire Bluefin Tuna population!

Marine Stewardship Council Logo

Marine Stewardship Council Logo

The film covers what steps we as consumers can take to do our part. One of which is to become educated on what species are endangered and know to make our vote of an alternative choice when at a restaurant or grocery store. You can visit a website such as the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch and print out one of their handy Pocket Guides and bring it with you to the restaurant or store that you’re going to.  Also, if you see the blue logo shown above at the grocery store, you know that product has been deemed a Certified Sustainable Seafood by the Marine Stewardship Council.

Santa Monica Seafood's Paddy Glennon and Carnevino's Chef Zach Allen

Santa Monica Seafood's Paddy Glennon and Carnevino's Chef Zach Allen

Co-sponsor of the screening events, Santa Monica Seafood was on hand and the ever-exuberant Paddy Glennon, V.P. of Sales for Santa Monica Seafood, talked to the audience following the film.  An adamant environmentalist, Paddy passionately spoke of ways the audience packed with local industry pros can help the cause.  Educating the consumer through their menus and taking agreeably delicious, yet collapsing species of seafood off their menus are just two simple ways restaurants can have a significant impact.  Just imagine a restaurant that does thousands of covers per week that educates their customer on where the food that is on their plate came from, and how each of those customers goes back to their homes and tells their family, friends and co-workers stories of what they learned (in between the stories of flirtatious strippers and hour-long rolls at the craps tables, of course).  Awareness is the first step to a better tomorrow.

Hopefully you can see why Chef Batali found it so important to hold screenings for all of his staff to see.  The private dining room in his Carnevino restaurant at the Palazzo resort was the chosen viewing spot for his Las Vegas contingent of eateries.  Many thanks to Chef Batali and Carnevino’s executive chef, Zach Allen, for bringing this important film and message to the attention of their employees and culinary colleagues.  I can’t encourage you enough to take the time to see this very important film for yourself.  Here’s to eating well and eating responsibly!

To find out more about The End of the Line, visit their website at: http://endoftheline.com

You can follow The End of the Line on Twitter at @TheEndoftheLine

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Mike Dobranski is a professional musician, amateur blogger, eater of good food, poker junkie, master of the inappropriate comment and bad husband to a wonderful wife. Follow him on Twitter at @MikeDobranski.

Follow Tasting Las Vegas on Twitter at @TastingLasVegas

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2 comments to Mario Batali’s Carnevino Hosts Screening of The End of the Line

  • In the world of the ever increasing and more sophisticated spam and phishing bots, I have made the executive decision to not approve a comment made by someone named Daphne who claimed to be an intern at MSC. The comment said the link to the MSC website didn’t work because it didn’t have a “www” in front, which upon checking and re-checking, the link worked perfectly fine.

    Just in case it was a browser issue, I edited the link to include the “www”, but just in case there was a phisher posing as a fisher, I haven’t approved the comment. So, Daphne at MSC, if you are a real person, my deepest apologies. And to all our readers, by all means, if you find something wonky on the site, let us know so we can fix it!

  • [...] the catastrophic consequences of overfishing. Celebrity chef Mario Batali found it so compelling he screened it for his entire staff in New York, Las Vegas and Los [...]

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