Chef calls for sea change in fishing laws

 

The television chef Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall is urging people to bombard the Twitter accounts of EU fisheries ministers this weekend in the countdown to a crucial meeting in Brussels which could sink his campaign to ban the discarding of fish.

On Monday, the Council of Ministers will decide whether to back the plan by the EU Fisheries Commissioner, Maria Damanaki, to phase out the practice, whereby trawlers which have exceeded their quotas throw dead fish back into the sea.

The ban, which Britain favours, would be implemented over the next four years as part of reform of the Common Fisheries Policy. But other states, believed to be France, Spain and Portugal, are opposed.

A draft agreement circulating before the meeting pays lip-service to ending discards, before adding that the ban as currently proposed is "unrealistic and too prescriptive".

Mr Fearnley-Whittingstall wants the 783,496 people across Europe who have backed his campaign at fishfight.net to pressure ministers. "For any clear-thinking voter, wasting prime fish on this scale is absolutely unacceptable," he said.

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