Get ready for the Big Fish Fight

Posted by jamie — 7 January 2011 at 11:24am - Comments
Hugh and Jamie during filming of the Fish Fight series
All rights reserved. Credit: Daphne Christelis / Greenpeace
Hugh and Jamie during filming of Fish Fight outside Westminster

We're only a few days in to 2011, but already this year is shaping up to be a big one in our campaign to end the plunder of the oceans.

With fish stocks plummeting and other marine life suffering thanks to poor fishing methods, we need all the help we can get. So I'm really looking forward to the Big Fish Fight starting next week on Channel 4, which will see TV chefs such as Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall investigating the devastating effects of the fishing industry on marine life and the oceans themselves.

Hugh's series - Hugh's Fish Fight – will be particularly fascinating, starting Tuesday 11 January at 9pm. I wouldn't often advocate sitting in front of the TV as a course of positive action, but this should be worth it. Set yourself a reminder by joining the Facebook event page.

He's been delving into various murky aspects of how fish gets to our supermarkets including: the huge numbers of sharks, rays and other fish being caught and killed as bycatch in tuna nets; the vast quantities of perfectly edible fish discarded thanks to poor European fishing policies; and the devastating effects of fish farming or aquaculture on the environment.

Many of these issues cut right across our campaign work, to the extent that our investigators have been working closely with Hugh's production team, travelling to Ghana to uncover the secrets of the tinned tuna industry – watch out for them in episode two on Wednesday at 9pm.

We'll also be asking for your help very soon to challenge the worst practices in the tinned tuna industry once again, as we launch our new tinned tuna league table. You've already convinced many supermarkets to improve their policies when it comes to tinned tuna and we want to make sure the other big players do too.

In the meantime, don't miss Hugh's Fish Fight starting on Channel 4 next Tuesday at 9pm.

@Peter: As you'll have seen on the show last night, the situation is complex and there are many factors - economic, political, industrial - which are driving the way fishing fleets operate. True, some people out there will exploit whatever they can get their hands on, but demonising fishermen isn't the answer. It's the policies and economics creating problems like discards and bycatch that we need to focus on.

@grandmother: Thanks for adding your perspective, and it's great to know there are those inside the fishing industry keen on reform too.

@Barry - Another world war may have other side-effects beyond restocking the oceans, so let's not dwell on that. But what you've describe is, in effect, a marine reserve, although I'd hope people would just agree to not fish there, rather than having to mine the North Sea.

@Lindy: glad you're enjoying the show and the campaigning!

@Peter - sorry, maybe 'demonising' sounded harsher than I intended. i just meant not painting them as the bad guys indiscriminately as it's not just what happens at sea which is the issue.

There's been a lot of discussion here about the value of celebrities getting involved in campaigning. If they're passionate and knowledgeable enough to know what they're talking about, why not? Yes, the obsession with celebrities can obscure an issue, and the reluctance of the media to get involved without a famous face as a figurehead is annoying. But just because they're known for being on TV doesn't mean they can't have an opinion outside their sphere of work.

And for a scientific viewpoint, Callum Roberts wrote a succinct piece yesterday

About Jamie

I'm a forests campaigner working mainly on Indonesia. My personal mumblings can be found @shrinkydinky.

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