Young’s Seafood Ltd. is heralding the return of Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s Fish Fight campaign to TV on Monday night, when the celebrity chef will air a 60-minute episode titled “Hugh’s Fish Fight: The Battle Continues” on the UK’s Channel 4.
The new program is as part of Fearnley-Whittingstall’s strategy to gain European-wide support for the European Commission’s recently unveiled proposals for reform to the Common Fisheries Policy, including an outright ban on discarding fish at sea. More than 700,000 people have now signed the Fish Fight petition since the initiative’s launch in January.
Citing Kantar Worldpanel data, Young’s pointed out that in the first quarter of 2011 sales of “alternative” species were up 1.6 percent across the UK, compared to the same period in 2010.
“Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s Fish Fight campaign has done a fantastic job in raising awareness of discards and encouraging consumers to try a wider variety of responsibly sourced fish. Back in January, when Fish Fight kicked off, we welcomed Hugh and his team to a campaign that motivates everyone within the industry who cares about sustainability,” said Young’s CEO Leendert den Hollander.
“Generating momentum, Fish Fight has shown what can be achieved when we all work together,” he continued. “But discards is just one of the many challenges that have to be tackled to ensure the long term sustainability of fish supply. For us, the fight to support sustainable practice in fisheries doesn’t stop here — our fish fight continues. As our fight goes on, we hope that consumers, retailers and the supply chain continue to support sustainable practice in fisheries and fish farms around the world.”
Mike Mitchell, director of corporate social responsibility for Young’s and its parent company, Findus Group, added: “Moving discards up the policy agenda is one of the key achievements of the Fish Fight campaign. We applaud the progressive approach to Common Fisheries Policy reform being driven at the moment and we recognize Fish Fight’s role in influencing this. Well-managed eco-systems are clearly critical to ensuring we have bountiful sources of fish, healthy people and healthy societies.”
Phil MacMullen, head of environment for industry group Seafish, also welcomed the return of the Fish Fight campaign to TV. “Hugh’s campaign has enjoyed the cooperation of all sectors of the seafood industry, and we are fully behind his efforts to reduce discards and increase the variety of seafood eaten in the UK,” he said. “He has managed to build quite a head of steam for his campaign, and this momentum for change is very welcome.”