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The Woods Hole Public Library will screen a new documentary on the rapidly growing industry of fish farming on Monday, August 5, at 6:30 PM. What was the last fish you ate? Where did it originate? If it was sea bass, sea bream, salmon, prawns, tuna or trout, how was it produced? More importantly, who was impacted? Fish farming is the fastest growing sector of food production, described as the ‘sustainable answer for food security’, but as the world population nears the 9.7 billion predicted by 2050, is it the solution? The new 60 minute film by investigative journalist and award-winning film-maker, Francesco De Augustinis, ‘Until The End Of The World’, takes the viewer on a journey from central Italy through Europe, West Africa and South America to meet communities dealing with what many refer to as ‘a neo-colonialist threat’ rather than a solution. De Augustinis says, “The film connects the experiences of different communities that, independently, in different parts of the world, are fighting against the expansion of fish farming. From Italy to Greece, from Spain to Senegal, up to the once-pristine waters of Chilean Patagonia, the film exposes the conflicts over the resources that this industry produces, making huge profits while promoting itself as a sustainability champion.” 

Today, fish farming – also referred to as aquaculture – is the fastest expanding food production sector  globally. By 2021, the amount of farmed fish globally exceeded the amount of caught fish. Exact  numbers when it comes to fish are practically impossible to secure, but it’s estimated that between  40-120 billion fish are farmed every year globally for an annual production of 122.6 million tons,  according to the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) in 2022. As the documentary reveals, the incredible rise of aquaculture is not accidental, but the result of  political will. The FAO and other international bodies continue promoting  aquaculture as a sustainable breakthrough to feed the Planet and make food production less  harmful. Yet, as the film exposes, the side effects of this exponential growth of fish farming are being felt throughout the world, and are eerily reminiscent of the spread of intensive land-based factory farming a few decades ago. 

Francesco De Augustinis is a freelance journalist and documentary-maker with 10 years’ experience in food and environmental issues, working for the likes of Mongabay, The Guardian, Corriere della Sera, EuObserver, Repubblica, The Huffington Post and The Ferret. Since 2021, his projects have involved industrial fish farming in Europe, Africa and South  America, supported by Journalismfund.eu and Internews’ Earth Journalism Network. In 2021, he published his second documentary “ONE EARTH – Everything is Connected”, which drew attention to the role of the food industry and factory farming in climate crisis and biodiversity. In 2019 he was the author of the award winning documentary, “Deforestation Made in Italy”, about the trading of raw materials into Europe (soy, beef, leather, timber, pulp, paper) linked to tropical deforestation in South America. In 2019 Francesco founded One Earth (www.one-earth.it/en) to focus on international investigative journalism about food  and sustainability.

This film screening is free and open to the public, and will be held in the Woods Hole Public Library’s lower level Community Room.