Food Production and the Environment The Fish Finger

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					Food Production and the Environment
The Fish Finger
The Trawler
Computer Control
Brining in the Net
Fish Population Concerns
Factory on Board
Fish for the Future (Management of Fish Resources)

Program outline
This video is suitable for students studying Food Technology, Hospitality and Studies in
Society. It details how fish are caught and processed on board the Norwegian fishing ship,
“Tenor”, from the initial netting of fish through to the procedures carried out in the factory
below deck. It covers issues such as quality control, working conditions and it considers the
long-term effect this type of fishing has on the environment and fish stock.

Class debate
“Drag net fishing should be banned”
                      or “The manufacture of fish fingers is irresponsible”

Assignment – drag net fishing
Research this type of fishing and the reasons why it remains popular today. Examine the
environmental costs of drag net fishing. What alternatives to drag net fishing exist?

Organise a visit to the fish market or local fish store in your area if possible. Alternatively, visit
the Sydney Fish Markets web site at

Website visits
a) Find out more about fish by visiting the CSIRO website at:
b) Complete a search using the word ‘fish’ and you will find there are many items of interest
    to view and download for printing, including:
    - Marine Research Information sheet No.5 which details the process of aquaculture and
        the benefits of this style of fish farming
    - The nutritional benefits of including fish in the diet due to the impact of omega – 3 fatty
        acids contained in fish.
    The CSIRO can also be contacted through the national information line on 1300 363 400.
(c) Visit the Fisheries Western Australia web site at This site
    contains a wealth of information on Australian fish, commercial fishing, seafood quality
    management and fish health.

Food Production and the Environment – Teachers’ Notes                                          Page 1
Suggested activities prior to viewing video
Convenience foods made from fish:
(a) For homework prior to the lesson students are asked to visit the local supermarket
    themselves (or on-line) to examine the many types of convenience food products that use
    fish as their main ingredient.
(b) Back in the classroom, ask students to create a spider diagram of convenience foods
    made from fish by pooling their ideas into a board summary for them to copy down.

(c) Ask students to classify products according to how they are preserved (eg canned/frozen/
(d) Have students consider the advantages and disadvantages of each preservation method in
    terms of taste, nutrition and cost.

Word search and definitions
Have students find the meaning of the following words:
Trawler, Rudder, Specifications, Monotonous, Diminishing

Unilever is the company that uses the fish caught and processed on the ‘Tenor’ to make and
sell fish fingers in Europe. It is a multinational company which owns and controls many world
famous brands of grocery lines including Continental, Rosella, Lipton, John West and Streets.
Find out more about this company by visiting the Unilever web site at If you are particularly interested in the ways Unilever seeks to
address environmental issues, you could look at the ‘environment and society’ and ‘global
sustainability issues’ sections of this site.

Review of questions to accompany video
1. How much fish do the nets pull in for an average catch?
2. For how many hours in the day is the ship operational?
3. What is a hawser?
4. Describe how the drag net moves across the ocean floor.
5. What happens to fish that are too small for the net to hold?
6. When the net is pulled in, what problems do unwanted fish cause?
7. The ship contains an on board fish processing factory. Describe what happens to the fish
    after they are caught.
8. Outline the hygiene regulations for workers.
9. Describe the working conditions of the people working in the factory.
10. What do the inspectors from Unilever check on the Tenor?
11. Fish fingers can be made from a number of different fish. Why do they all taste similar?
12. What agreement has Unilever made with the World Wildlife Fund?

Activities to follow viewing of video
Consider the many technologies that assist in the process of catching and processing fish on
board the ship “Tenor” both above and below deck. Write down as many as you can recall.
Compare this with fishing and fish processing in the past. How would these tasks have been
done 100 years ago? What impact has technology had?

Food Production and the Environment – Teachers’ Notes                                  Page 2
Practical work
Organise a practical lesson in which students crumb and cook small finger shaped fish fillets
(use perch if possible) in order to complete a comparison with a popular brand of fish fingers.
During tasting, have students consider aspects such as texture (mouthfeel), flavour, cost, ease
of preparation and nutritional value. Students could fill out their results in a table similar to the
one below.
                             Commercial fish fillets        Home cooked fish fillets



Ease of preparation

Nutritional Value

Design Project
Drag net fishing has a great impact on the environment as it destroys seabeds and depletes
the ocean of fish stock. A new frozen convenience food product needs to be developed to take
the place of the fish finger. In groups of 2 – 3 students, design a new type of frozen
convenience food in a similar shape to the fish finger. Justify your choice of ingredients.

Food Production and the Environment – Teachers’ Notes                                         Page 3

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