Hugh Comes To Fight In Rain Soaked Brussels

Today Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstalls Fish Fight came to Brussels. He came to lead a battle against the discarding of fish. What started on the screens of Channel 4, and the support of hundreds of thousands of British people, has led Hugh to lead a charge across the channel and bring the fight to Brussels.
He was joined outside the European Parliament by Comissioner Damanaki  to launch the European crusade against discards.  On a rain soaked afternoon, Hugh and Commissioner Damanaki, called for Euro MPs and Fishing Ministers to back Commissioner Damanki’s proposals to end the senseless waste of fish.

There was extensive press pick up of the event

The influential EU Euronews carried a news clip on the event Fish Fight against massive EU Fish waste

The Independent, Chef Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall takes fish fight to Europe,

Hugh will now be taking his battle ship to other European capitals


Why Does Fish Cost So Much?

Ever wondered why the fish that fishermen sell for 2,00 a kilo costs you 21,00 kilo?

Here is the breakdown about how the cost of North Sea Shrimp being sold in Belgium, Netherlands and France adds up:

Prices are in euro/kg.


  • Paid to the fisherman pro landed kg 2,00
  • Auction fees (NL) 0,33
  • Purchase price whole shrimp by wholesaler 2,33
  • 3 kg needed for 1 kg meat 6,99
  • Peeling cost (included transport to and from Morocco – 5,20)
  • Cost peeled shrimp entrance Dutch processing fac- 12,19 1
  • Processor’s selling price 17,00 to 25,00Retail price (BE-DE-NL) 21,10 to 39,00

Source: Study, European Parliament, Brown shrimp fishery 2011

Technology 1 – Enforcement 0

The fish you buy is not always what you think it is.

On 27 May, 2011, Commissioner Damanaki, Europe’s fisheries Commissioner, spoke about combating fish fruad with technology. A surprising amount of fish you buy in supermarkets is not what you think.  High value species, like cod,   are often replaced by cheaper fish. Mixed in a prepacked meal, with a rich sauce,  most consumers never know the difference.

Technology has solved the problem with cost effective DNA testing systems that easily, quickly and cheaply identifies the fish being sold.  Technology firms listened to what the market place asked for  and what politicians wanted when they adopted new legislation on illegal fishing.

But, fishing processors and the enforcement authorities are not using the technology on the ground.  Enforcement of Europe’s environmental and consumer affairs laws, let alone fisheries, is extremely lax. Compared to the US, where the State and public actually enforce the laws they pass, the rules in europe are all too often just words.

Companies who have stepped up to meet the challenge and deliver solutions with technology to answer the questions the public and industry ask for are rebuffed. Industry have realised that the rules are not enforced, so often  don’t invest, and government enforcement remains low.

Perhaps, one day the public will learn about the fraud being committed against them.







Hugh’s Fish Fight Comes To Brussels – Tuesday 31 May 12-3 pm

If you want to soak up the sun, Hugh’s Fish Fight is coming to Brussels. He’ll be serving lunch outside the European Parliament’s  Esplanade  on Tuesday 31th May.  Lunch from one of the UK’s finest chefs will be  from 12 – 3pm. More details here


The Commission have just been promoting this:

European Fish Fight Campaign to be launched on 31 May

On Tuesday 31 May, Commissioner Maria Damanaki will take part in the launching event of the European Fish Fight Campaign in Brussels (12h00-15h00, European Parliament Esplanade). The Fish Fight campaign was launched in the United Kingdom in October 2010 by the chef, journalist and food writer Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, to raise awareness about the issue of sustainable fishing and how to end discarding of fish. So far the campaign has been supported by more than 675.000 people and recently won a BAFTA award in the feature category. The campaign’s main website, will be joined by 11 more microsites in 11 different languages. They are (Polish) , (Swedish) , (German), (Danish), (French), (Greek) , (Spanish) , (Italian), (Dutch), (Flemish) and (Portugese). Much larger campaign launches will take place later in the year in 4 specific target countries. These campaigns will be launched by local fish fighting celebrities in Germany, France, Spain and Poland.Commissioner Damanaki said: “Fish Fight has a great power and I am grateful to the people who support it and understand that we can not go with business as usual. This is not an option anymore, for the simple reason that fish stocks are decreasing; we need a real change: to fish less and earn more and we can do that through a better management of our fish stocks and for instance avoiding discards. I hope that Fish Fight public support will help to bring the radical change that we need.”The European Commission is currently finalising its proposals for a thorough reform of the EU’s Common Fisheries Policy and the issue of discarding is a key element in the coming reform. The Commissioner expects to present her proposals for the new policy in July.