And so in the end, it turns out to have been a lie after all: there are not plenty more fish in the sea.
Quite the contrary, if we don't stop hauling them up in nets and stuffing them down our throats with a side of greasy chips, our seas will be 'without fish within a generation'.
A horrible thought, and one recently illustrated by famous photography Rankin and a legion of decidedly unsqueamish celebrity friends.
Lizzy Jagger rides a fish like a motobike, Lili Loveless lays down draped in an octopus and Sir Ben Kingsley intimidates a squid in a series of promotion shots for the Fishlove Photographic Project.
The idea for the photographs came about in a conversation between Nicholas Röhl, owner of Brighton Japanese restaurant Moshimo, and Charles Clover, who was at that point about to launch his important film on the fishing crisis, ‘End of the Line’.
"At 50, I wasn't exactly enthusiastic about going naked, and it certainly wasn't pleasurable to do it holding a cod - but I did it because it was a cause I believe in passionately" recalls actress Greta Scacchi, who also posed for a snap.
"Strangely, the photograph with the cod got more publicity than anything I have ever done as an actress."
Nude pictures of celebrities is one of the great currencies of the internet of course, but there's something about these shots that turn our stomachs a little.
In fact, they seem to make a brilliant case for leaving the poor slithery blighters in the ocean where they belong: job done then, we guess.
What do you make of the photos?
Sir Ben Kingsley
Lizzy Jagger And Jerry Hall
Richard E Grant