By Frances Humber, Research Coordinator. The public has been hooked on cod, salmon and tuna for too long and it was time for Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall and his ‘Fish Fight’ to highlight the enormous levels of ‘discard’ or waste in EU fisheries. The place was the streets of Westminster, and Hugh hijacked celebrities, policy makers and passers-by to come and enjoy a feast of fish that would have otherwise been discarded from a recent fishing voyage. Fishmeal crostini, mackerel burgers and battered sprats and gurnard were some of delicacies on offer, prepared by a team of chefs, including Jamie Oliver, who came to lend his support to the cause.
Hugh’s Fish Fight (http://www.fishfight.net/) says:
“Discarding is not limited to the North Sea, it’s a massive problem throughout EU waters. Some of these discards are undersized fish, and some of them are species for which there is currently little market. But much of it is “over-quota” fish: prime cod, haddock, coley, whiting, plaice, and other major food species, for which the fishermen have run out of quota.
But in the pursuit of other fish for which they do still have quota, they cannot avoid catching large numbers of the “wrong” species. It’s an inherent problem in what is known as a “mixed fishery”.”
Hugh aims to change public opinion about what we are willing to put on our dinner table; and even more importantly, to influence current fisheries policy reform. If today’s feast was anything to go by, the public will be easy to win round, so let’s hope that those at the top give us the opportunity to do so. Make mine a sprat, chips and mushy peas please!
Sign up to support Hugh’s Fish Fight here.