Axminster chef takes fish fight to Brussels
Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall calls on Euro bosses to end quota madness
AXMINSTER-based celebrity chef Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall has taken his fish fight campaign to Europe.
The River Cottage cook went armed with a massive 676,726 signature petition calling for an end to a quota system which sees half the North sea catch thrown back dead.
Launching the Euro campaign in Brussels last week he said: “Today is a massive day for the fish fight campaign, and for the mission to end the insanely wasteful practise of discarding thousands of tonnes of fine edible fish at sea. This scandalous activity, which fishermen, conservationists and the fish-eating public all abhor, is the final insult of a Common Fisheries Policy that is universally agreed to be broken, and no longer fit for purpose.
“Back in January we broadcast our Fish Fight documentaries in the UK, and launched a campaign to help the British public find a voice, and protest against this shameful practise, that is both an environmental crime and a moral outrage.
“We promised them that we would bring their petition here to Brussels and hand it over to tour European Fisheries Commissioner, so that their voice would be heard, and added to the urgent dialogue over CFP reform.
“To my delight, the number of names on that petition now stands at over 676, 000, and it’s still rising every hour of every day. And I’ve come to Brussels to honour my pledge to every single one of those fish fighters.
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“But I didn’t want to simply hand over a piece of paper with a lot of names on it. And I certainly didn’t want to imply that the fish fight is over, or the battle over discards is won. Far from it. I want today to mark a new phase in our fish fight, where we take our message – and the public outrage over wasting fish – right across Europe.
“That’s why today the fish fight website goes live across Europe. The campaign’s main website, www.fishfight.net will be joined by 11 more microsites in 11 different languages.
“We want to give the whole of Europe a voice to help end discards.”
Mr Fearnley-Whittingstall presented the petition to European Fisheries. Commissioner Maria Damanaki.
He also took along a working sculpture of a wreck to remind people there what’s was at stake.