Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall takes fishing anti-discard campaign to Brussels

17 Nov 2010
The Fish Fight anti-discard campaign had attracted 17,000 sign-ups within 18 hours of its launch.

The Fish Fight anti-discard campaign had attracted 17,000 sign-ups within 18 hours of its launch.

Food writer, broadcaster and campaigner Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall this week attended the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) reform meeting ‘Another Future for Fish’ in Brussels and unveiled his latest campaign – aimed at making EU fish discards a thing of the past.

On Tuesday 16 November, his team set up a massive screen outside the conference building opposite the European Commission, to play its viral video all day.

Fearnley-Whittingstall also managed to get an interview with Maria Damanaki, commissioner for maritime affairs and fisheries.

Fishery stakeholders from all over Europe were present, and many of them agreed to join the Fish Fight Campaign, he said. The discard issue was raised throughout the day, during various debates and presentations.

“I was able to announce during one debate that the Fish Fight anti-discard campaign (http://www.fishfight.net ) has already attracted 17,000 sign-ups since its launch just 18 hours earlier.

“It was a great way to launch the campaign... To be here in Brussels, right at the heart of policy making.

“It seems to me that if the public, the fishermen, the conservationists and the politicians can agree about one thing, it is that discard must be eliminated.

“The big question of course is how, and that is what the Commission will be grappling with in the coming months.

“I hope that every potential new policy direction will face up to the question: ‘Yes, but will it help reduce discards?’

“And as long as we continue to get such fantastic support for our campaign, I’m confident that will happen. Thanks everybody, keep it coming ... And tell your friends!”

By 11am on Wednesday 17 November, more than 22,000 had signed up to support Fearnley-Whittingstall's campaign.

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