Archive for Cod
www.guardian.co.uk 28th January 2011
Celebrity chef Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s Channel 4 documentary on the problems of current fishing practices has been a fantastic success. 600,000 have signed his petition to make fishing practices more sustainable and big retailers have reported large increases in sales of sustainably sourced fish. However, concerns have been voiced on the solutions put forward in the program. By simply diversifying the type of fish we eat, we are not necessarily reducing the impact on heavily fished species such as cod and plaice. In fact, since the program aired this month (it can be seen here on Channel 4 OD), British supermarkets Waitrose and Marks and Spencer announced an increase in fish sales of 15% and 25%. The UK already consumes far more fish than its fish stocks are able to support and the country’s fishing industry relies on imported species for 5 months of the year. By simply asking people to eat a wider variety of fish, Hugh and his team, despite the great work they have done, have not tackled the heart of the problem: we need to eat less fish. The population of the UK consume, on average 20kg of fish every year. That is half of the Spanish average and a third of the Portuguese, but still much more than the global average. With three-quarters of the EU’s fish stocks overexploited, encouraging more people to eat fish, whatever the species, is unlikely to help the problem with overfishing.
www.independent.co.uk 13th December 2010
Quoted from source:
‘Britain and the EU are on the verge of a trade war with Iceland and the Faroe Islands after talks to agree a quota for fishing mackerel collapsed. Iceland and the Faroes have set their own vastly increased quotas and walked out of negotiations with the EU which were intended to find a mutually acceptable figure. In what some observers are already calling “Cod Wars II”, EU nations are expected to take retaliatory action to put pressure on Iceland and the Faroes to reduce the quantity of mackerel they catch. The EU has already threatened trade sanctions which could result in a ban on Faroese and Icelandic imports of cod, herring, whiting, haddock and mackerel. Iceland set a 130,000-ton quota this year while the Faroes gave themselves an 85,000-ton quota. The figures are many times bigger than five years ago. Richard Benyon, the UK’s Minister for Natural Environment and Fisheries, said: “The lack of an agreement … on mackerel is a major threat to the stock’s future sustainability and we are considering what actions we can now take to make them see sense.” The row escalated on the eve of the EU Fish Council in Brussels, which starts today, where EU fisheries ministers will set catch quotas for a host of other species for the next year. Britain faces a further problem on the quotas because it has been claimed in a study by the the Pew Environmental Group that the three-quarters of UK fishermen who use boats which are less than 10 metres (33ft) long– many of them an environmentally friendly alternative to trawlers – are being illegally denied their fair share of the quota. This is because the quotas are distributed on behalf of the UK Government by Fishing Producer Organisations (FPOs) whose members sail mainly in bigger boats.’
www.independent.co.uk 18th November 2010
A campaign has been launched the celebrity chef Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall to make the EU eliminate the fishing practice of discarding. As much as half of the fish caught by European fishing boats are discarded, dead or dying, back into the sea. This is because either the catch is the wrong species, or the fish are too small, or even because it would take the ship over its quota thereby disallowing the crew to land their catch. Mr Fearnley-Whittingstall launched his campaign following a television show he made highlighting the problem. ‘Hugh’s Fish Fight’ will be broadcast on Channel 4 early in the New Year. Within two days of starting the campaign ‘Fish Fight’, 24,000 people signed up (the number is now around 57,000). The names will be added to a letter addressed Maria Damanaki, the European Fisheries Commissioner, demanding an end to the discards. Firm data on the amount of discard occurring in fishing fleets is uncertain as few boats record it. However, International Council for the Exploration of the Seas has released figures of 60% of cod caught in the North Sea is discarded. When fish of under a year are analysed, this figure rises to 90%. ‘Fish Fight’ has the support of the UK fisheries minister Richard Benyon and several projects around the UK coast have already reduced bycatch by using improved fishing equipment.