Fishing group hits back on Hugh's Fish Fight –

Fishing group hits back on Hugh’s Fish Fight Published:  28 May, 2014

THE National Federation of Fishermen’s Organisations has accused the Hugh’s Fish Fight TV programmes of presenting a less than balanced picture on the situation around  the controversial discards debate

The NFFO said in a statement: “It is perhaps not surprising that Hugh’s Fish Fight is now mounting a rather desperate attempt to shore up the credibility of its campaign to ban discards, after a powerful piece in the Times suggested that the public and politicians were misled into supporting an EU discard ban.”The Federation says evidence was presented to the Fish Fight campaign to show that discards in our fisheries were not a static or growing problem but were in fact, being steadily reduced. The NFFO advised Hugh, on film, that discarding by the English fleet had been reduced by 50% over the previous decade. That statistic did not appear in any of his programmes.Information on  discard trends had  been reinforced more recently by further work in ICES, that confirms that the absolute amount of discards in the North Sea roundfish fisheries (one of those in which discards have historically been very high) have been reduced by 90% over the last 20 years. There are a number of reasons for this drastic reduction including, a significantly smaller fleet, using more selective gear, over a period of lower recruitment.The statistics on the general discard trends were there at the time, for anyone who cared to look, as Hugh’s campaign reached its crescendo. The point is that Hugh’s Fish Fight didn’t look very hard for them, presumably because they would have spoiled a rather simple narrative of a hero at the head of a crusade.The  Federation says it  has taken the view that discards are a major problem insome of our fisheries and that the Common fisheries Policy has amplified the problem by the way it has managed its fisheries. That much we have in common with Hugh.”Where we part company with Hugh is his belief is that an EU ban is the best way to secure further progress is through a top-down blanket ban (albeit with some scope for flexibilities and exemptions.”It adds: “Fishermen from right around the coast feel aggrieved that they now face a period of uncertainty and change on a massive scale, with no

14 days 1 month Tributes paid to Archie McFarlane Scottish shipyard secures £3 million aquac… Marine Harvest pulls out of Chilean operation Fishupdate Briefing Scottish mussels take starring role Scottish salmon exports rise by £60 million The fisher queen Friday 22 August 2014 prices at Peterhead Mackerel on menu as UK bids to overcome Ru… The sick fish website The not-so-wellboat Tragic haul for New Zealand trawler Quotas cut for 10 EU countries Up to 20 workers set be employed at airbas… UK’s top 60 chippies named Tributes paid to Archie McFarlane Anger at sledgehammer” injunction on fishe… Scottish Government meets to discuss Russi… Ireland responds to Russian sanctions Norwegian fish farmers react to Russian sa…