The Big Fish Fight is on

Half of all fish caught in the North Sea are thrown back dead. This is due to strict fishing quotas set out by the EU Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) that limit the number of fish landed each day. Although these quotas were originally developed with the intention to help conserve fish stocks, they are in fact doing the exact opposite and forcing fishermen to throw back thousands of dead fish, known as discard, every day.

The problem occurs because in a mixed fishery, where species other than the target fish live, non-target species get caught along with the desired catch, and are then later thrown back over-board dead. This is not only a waste of food but has absolutely no benefit to conservation.

In response, the Big Fish Fight kicked off on Channel 4 this month. The campaign aims to lobby change in EU fisheries policy in order to make fishing more sustainable, as well as encourage the public to diversify their eating habits, and increase supermarket sourcing awareness.

The high profile campaign is fronted by celebrity chefs including Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, Jamie Oliver, Gordon Ramsay and Heston Blumenthal who have been showcasing sustainable seafood recipes to the public. The campaign is also supported by conservation NGO’s such as WWF and the Marine Conservation Society, who are working to develop solutions to help make the CFP work for fish, fishermen and consumers alike.

The Big Fish Fight has already received tremendous public support, with over half a million people signing up in favor of the CFP reform in 2012. To join the fight and find out more sign up at