More fish is being eaten in Poland to off-set the country's serious shortage of meat.
GDYNIA GV & LVs Processing vessels in port (4 shots)
SV ZOOM IN TO CU Trawlers at dockside
CU PAN Fish in boxes
SV & CU PAN Boxes transported by fork lift (2 shots)
CU PULL BACK TO LV INT Fish factory
SV & CU Fish placed in cans (2 shots)
CU Tomato added to cans
CU PULL BACK TO SV Cans on production line
LV & CU INT Canned and packeted fish on sale in shop (3 shots)
GDANSK GV PAN City and river
LV EXT Fish shop and restaurant
SV INT Fish prepared by chef
CU Fish being fried (2 shots)
SV & CU Ladies preparing cold fish dishes (3 shots)
SV & CU Customers queuing for fish and eating (3 shots)
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Background: More fish is being eaten in Poland to off-set the country's serious shortage of meat. Normally, much of the Polish fishing catch is exported, but now it's ending up on dinner tables at home.
SYNOPSIS: A large percentage of Poland's supply of fish comes ashore at Baltic ports like Gdynia, where factory ships and freezer vessels line the dockside. There are about 120 ships in the country's distant-water fleet. They catch about 800,000 tonnes of fish a year.
In the past Poland has sold as much as possible of its catch -- which amounts to about one percent of the world's total -- to foreign customers in return for hard currency.
Because of the chronic shortage of meat larger quantities of fish are being brought ashore in an attempt to persuade Poles to eat more of it. Many Poles prefer meat, and remain unconvinced by the fish products being prepared in factories. Whether or not customers are prepared to buy fish, experts say they're worried by the increasingly big catches being brought into port. They say there's a danger that the Polish zone of the Baltic Sea may be over-fished, upsetting the ecological balance.
Under a quota agreement recently concluded, 79 Polish vessels will be allowed to fish in the Soviet sector of the Baltic. But here are strict limits on the amount of herring, cod, sprats and salmon the trawlers can catch.
Another 46 Polish ships will be permitted in the Swedish zone. It's hoped 300,000 tonnes of fish can be caught for the home market alone this year.
The city of Gdansk is best known for its steel industry, and as the birthplace of the independent trade union Solidarity. But it is also an important port where fish is processed, cooked and sold to the public in a single operation under the roof.
At the Gdansk Fishing Plant a chef prepared dishes for a restaurant on the premises. Some cooked fish is popular with customers, but it is proving difficult to change the taste of the typical Polish consumer, who has been used to eating meat. In some parts of the country, housewives were reported to be queuing for fresh fish, but not for processed products.
Experts predicted that the government would have little success in flooding the market with fish, at least in the short term. But if the meat shortage continues, customers might be left without a choice. In a country lacking many staple foods at least fish is, at present, comparatively plentiful.