What is the Fish Fight Campaign?

I’m sure many of you, like me, have watched with interest and horror the experiences of Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall this week in his series on Channel 4 Hugh’s Fish Fight.

He has produced a website to accompany this programme at http://www.fishfight.net where you can find out more about the issues raised and lend your support to the public campaign to stop discarding fish at sea as well as getting updates on the campaign and its continuing work over the coming months.

The Key to the Campaign

The EU estimates that in the North Sea fishermen discard 40% – 60% of their catch.  These fish could be:

  •  species that have fallen out of fashion such as flounder, dab, coley and pouting and so can not be sold on
  • popular fish such as prime cod, haddock, plaice that are “over-quota”.

The quota system is intended to protect fish stocks by setting limits on how many fish of a certain species should be caught, however fishing for one species often means catching another and if fishermen are not allowed to land them, the only option is to throw them overboard – sadly the vast majority of these  fish will die. The Common Fisheries Policy which is the political framework for the quota system, is currently being reformed for 2012.

The aim of the campaign is to stop the unnecessary discarding of perfectly good fish.

How Can We Help?

So, on an individual level what can we do to support this campaign:

  • you can sign up to the campaign at http://www.fishfight.net. The aim was 250,000 signatures by summer 2011 and this has already been exceeded – today there are 427,324 signatures but the more signatures the bigger the voice.
  • be more adventurous with fish and try eating some of the lesser-known species of local fish currently being discarded – look out for tasty and nutritious recipes coming on this blog in the next few days.
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