Federations unite in anger over BBC fishing documentary – Fishupdate.com

Federations unite in anger over BBC fishing documentary Published:  02 February, 2010

BRITAIN’S two main fishing federations have joined forces to register an official complaint over a BBC programme which they claim has given a “totally inaccurate and damaging picture of the UK fishing industry.

The Scottish Fishermen’s Federation and the National Federation of Fishermen’s Organisations have welcomed the news that industry body Seafish has formally written to the BBC complaining about the poor editorial standards in the TV programme ‘Britain’s really disgusting food: fish’.The SFF and NFFO say the programme ignored the true situation regarding commercial fishing in the UK and the impact upon the marine environment.

The Federations say they are particularly dismayed at the continual repetition in the programme that ‘some scientists believe there will be ‘no fish left in the sea in 50 years time’. The scientist who originally made this assertion in 2006 – Professor Boris Worm of Dalhousie University, Canada – had since rescinded this hypothesis.

In a joint statement, the SFF and NFFO said: “This was an extremely damaging programme to the UK fishing industry where the true facts were simply ignored. It seems that the programme makers thought of a title and then made an episode to fit around their own narrow agenda. The programme makers totally failed to acknowledge the huge strides made by the UK fishing industry in recent years to ensure a sustainable future.”

The federations pointed out that their members have been making changes and sacrifices to be as conservation-minded as possible,and such efforts had led to the first signs of recovery in the North Sea cod stock, with a growing number of UK fisheries certified, or undergoing certification by the Marine Stewardship Council as being well managed.