The Fish Fight team are celebrating today after the European Commission published its proposal to reform fishing policy. Changes detailed in the proposal would end the shocking practice that currently leads to up to 80% of fish caught ending up being thrown back into the sea dead.
Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall has published a response to the new proposal in which he thanks everyone who signed up to the campaign. He said:
"I’m very happy to see that the proposal specifically includes measures to end discards. It’s not perfect but it's a brave step in the right direction and we should applaud Commissioner Damanaki for ensuring discards are firmly on the agenda.
"I really believe this wouldn't have happened without all your fantastic support. Thank you to each and every one of the 700,000 people who have signed the fishfight.net petition. Maintaining public enthusiasm and energy for a campaign is not always easy, but today’s result has shown once again that the voices of people united can really make a difference."
Keep up the Fight!
Fisheries Commissioner Maria Damanaki stressed the need to maintain fish stocks, and was quoted in a BBC article: "Action is needed now to get all our fish stocks back into a healthy state to preserve them for present and future generations. Only under this precondition can fishermen continue to fish and earn a decent living out of their activities."
The was a terrific response from Landsharers to the campaign. But Hugh stresses that it's not over yet. Now we need to push the campaign across Europe, and make sure that the changes detailed in the proposal are pushed through.