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Thread: Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall: 'I want to dictate the taste of the nation'

  1. #31
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    http://www.fishnewseu.com/index.php?...tish&Itemid=54

    Fish Fight’s honesty questioned

    Friday, 01 March 2013 14:16

    THE chief executive of the Scottish Fishermen’s Federation, Bertie Armstrong, has issued a response to last night’s episode of Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s Fish Fight, claiming that the programme “hoodwinked” the public.

    According to Armstrong: “In the first episode of this current series we were shown metal contraptions being dragged by tractors across sandcastles on a Weston-Super-Mare beach as a crude illustration what trawling supposedly does to the seabed. Had the programme’s attractive sand sculpture been constructed beneath the high water mark the first tide would have done a much more comprehensive demolition job on it – the demonstration was literally farcical.

    “But the starkest illustration of programme quality came from a British Antarctic Survey scientist, who was an unwitting contributor to the Fish Fight when it went to the southern ocean to look at the krill fishery. The fishery is damaging the ecosystem was the implication drawn by the programme. Well, no actually it isn’t. Cue Dr Ruth Brown from the British Antarctic Survey and her widely publicised letter to Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall that was written after she saw how her area of expertise and the fishery were portrayed in the programme.

    “In her letter she reports from a definitive scientific study the facts that the fishery takes a krill tonnage less than 0.5% of that taken by natural predators. In other words, it is insignificant and to stop it for conservation purposes – the programme’s implication – would be the equivalent to ordering cessation of paperclip use in the UK to avoid making the national debt any worse. I recommend that you read Dr Brown’s letter to see the full list of evasions and distortions, and Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s reply for the central explanation that: ‘It is important to keep the story telling of a TV documentary clear and simple’. I disagree. I think it is much more important for a TV documentary to have an honest narrative.”

  2. #32
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    http://www.fishupdate.com/news/fulls..._evidence.html

    Seafish chief says Fish Fight programmes lacking in evidence
    Published: 04 March, 2013

    SEAFISH has accused campaigner Hugh Fearnley-Whttingstall of over-simplifying the issue of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) highlighted in his latest Fish Fight programme.

    Dr Paul Williams, chief executive of Seafish said in a statment at the weekend: "“We are supportive of the concept of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) but remain firmly opposed to the over-simplification of a complex issue for the purposes of television entertainment. Seafish has extensively reviewed the Fish Fight charter and found it to be indiscriminate and lacking in evidence. These are views that we stand by wholeheartedly.

    Dr Williams said the move for protection zones was not a new campaign because the industry had been working with governments, scientists and environmental groups for years on this project. " We are seeing the first stage development of that work being consulted on now and it will mean over 22 per cent of UK waters being protected, with more to come along in the future once the necessary data is acquired.

    He continued: “Hugh’s Fish Fight, through its charter, is demanding that all provisionally nominated areas are implemented now despite the fact that more guidance and knowledge has been cited as being required. It is our belief that this presents risks to the environment it is trying to protect and, with that, the industries and communities across England which depend upon them. “The industry has taken positive steps to address the issues raised in the programme over the years, and KEO films has been in attendance at pan-industry meetings, facilitated by Seafish, to directly hear about them.

    “It has therefore been deeply disappointing to see the subject of MPAs treated in such a one-sided manner, especially given the input industry gave to this series, and the previous Fish Fight campaign.

    Dr Williams added: "By circumnavigating the scientific advice published on MPAs, Hugh’s Fish Fight has portrayed parts of the fishing industry in a wholly inaccurate light in order to motivate its audience into action. We believe these tactics may now have served only to alienate the fishing industry from a process which, in order to achieve the required environmental, social and economic goals, needs the collaboration and cooperation of all parties.”

  3. #33
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    Another open letter from David Linkie , Fishing News , about HFW's Fish Fight

    Continuing unbalanced perspective the only consistency
    in Hugh’s Fish Fight

    David Linkie

    The only consistent factor in the 3 part series of Hugh’s Big Fish Fight which concluded last week was the continuing use of what can only be called highly selective information, chosen with the sole intention of conveniently misleading the British public.

    Now that Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall has delivered his heavily one sided and well-orchestrated opinions, the fishing industry can spend the coming months and years trying to restore some resemblance of balance.

    By putting farmed Tiger prawns in the spotlight last week, when he questioned the source of feed used, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall typically adopted the broad brush approach when he advised viewers to consider this the next time they were thinking of buying prawns in a supermarket. Farmed Tiger prawns were immediately generalised into prawns, with no attempt to explain to viewers that he was not including the totally different North Sea prawns. Neither did he take just a few seconds of air time to inform his audience about the pioneering measures now being implemented by the UK prawn fleet.

    A similarly simplistic approach was used with regard to the North Atlantic mackerel fishery, when the stance currently being taken by Iceland and Faroe was not explained, thereby leaving the impression that Britain and Ireland, as well as EU countries, were to blame. While correctly stating that midwater vessels catch large quantities of mackerel in a short time scale, no mention was made of the fact that, as a migratory stock, the mackerel fishery is very seasonal, with the result that midwater vessels are at sea for less than 3 months each year.

    In seizing on MPAs around the UK as a one-fix all solution, if the pre-programme research carried out by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s team were as diligent as it was portrayed to be, why was no mention made of the fact that, for nearly ten years now, large areas of previously prime fishing grounds, of which the Windsock area north of Cape Wrath and the Long Hole east of Orkney are just two examples, have been permanently closed to mobile gear. Furthermore, the on-going use of cod and juvenile fish Real Time Closed Areas pioneered by Marine Scotland was conspicuous by its absence. Why?

    Although fishing was constantly portrayed as being a major threat to the marine environment, the continual large scale extraction of aggregates from the seabed around the UK did not merit attention.

    Neither did the impact on marine life coming from the rapidly increasing high voltage electricity cables being laid to transmit environmentally-friendly ‘green power’ ashore from the rapidly mushrooming offshore wind farms. Perhaps Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall did not want to attract attention to the fact that very little research has been undertaken to determine the possible effects underwater power cables have on the marine environment.

    Respect and trust are two essential characteristics required for anyone working in close contact with the fishing industry. While Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall generally received a cautious positive response to the first series of Fish Fight, when the issue of discards was the main focus, these gains have probably been more than eroded by his second series.

  4. #34
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    http://www.scribd.com/doc/128421693/...ervation-Zones




    Tuesday, March 5 2013
    Marine protection
    This Government has already spent millions on meaningful marine protectionand more cash has had to be found
    Sir, In response to Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall (Mar 2) I want to put it on record that thisGovernment has set in motion an irreversible process of meaningful marine protection.Many are disappointed that we are not proposing to create more of the original 127 MarineConservation Zones. The 127 sites came from four groups, combining fishermen,conservationists and others. Their recommendations were tested by independent scientistsand, I regret, many were found wanting. A myth developing is that I raised the bar of scientificevidence. Not true. I depend on independent scientific advice.I make no apology for making cost an issue. We have spent millions on this process and I havehad to find an additional £3 million to fill the evidence gap.Richard BenyonMinister for Natural Environment and Fisheries

  5. #35
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    Its NOT publicly funded , its a levy paid by the fishermen and processors NOT from the people that buy the fish in shops , yet again the green lot tell blatant lies

    http://www.fishupdate.com/news/fulls...rogrammes.html

    War of words opens up over Fish Fight programmes
    Published: 05 March, 2013

    ENVIRONMENTAL fishing campaigner Charles Clover has taken a dig at the industry watchdog Seafish for its critical approach over the latest Hugh’s Fish Fight TV programmes.

    Seafish chief executive Dr Paul Williams said a few days ago that the episode covering Marine Protection Areas (MPAs) in particular was one-sided and lacking in evidence.

    Writing in The Sunday Times at the weekend in a piece headlined “You, me and Hugh, we’ve Finally Tipped The Scales” Charles Clover, who is also founder of the Fish2Fork restaurant website, described the criticism as “in my view that really is pompous bilge from a limpet attached to a rock”.

    He also accuses some ‘old order’ fishing groups (but not the NFFO) of backing the fishery resource until it collapses. He said Seafish was set up by Act of Parliament and the public paid for it through a direct levy on the fish it bought.

    “It carries out research projects and offers invaluable safety advice and training for fishermen. This is good work, but I have a bone to pick with the organisation.

    “Seafish exists in its words ‘to support the seafood industry for a sustainable, profitable future’ – but not to back the most destructive part of the of the seafood industry against the public interest, I humbly suggest.”

    Mr Clover dismisses the Seafish criticism of the programme, saying Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall did not advocate a blanket or indiscriminate introduction of protection zones.

    He also points out that New Zealand had successfully introduced such zones in temperate waters.

    He article concludes: “It seems clear to me that Seafish, although a public body, is acting as a sea anchor on the government. Is that its job? I don’t think so.

    “The bullies of the fishing industry are entitled to defend themselves, but not with our money.”

  6. #36
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    The proof that the Scottish fleet are leading the way with conservation that HFW and his Fish Fight shysters WILL NOT admit to as it doesn't fit their political campaign to admit our prawn trawl fleet is fishing sustainably

  7. #37
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    http://www.sff.co.uk/node/712


    Abundance of cod on North Sea fishing grounds is backed by the scientific evidence

    7 March 2013

    Reports from Scottish fishermen of a huge abundance of cod in the North Sea is a direct result of a dramatic decline in fishing effort combined with the introduction of a number of conservation initiatives by the fishing fleet, says the Scottish Fishermen’s Federation (SFF).

    With dramatic video footage being aired on some TV news bulletins today showing a large haul of cod being taken aboard the fishing vessel Budding Rose in the North Sea, the SFF says the scientific evidence is also backing the experience of fishermen on the fishing grounds. The skipper of the vessel, Peter Bruce, said that when the film was taken he was 20 miles away from the closed (to fishing) cod spawning area and was actually fishing for haddock.

    He added: “I was in contact with another skipper who was 75 miles away having similar experiences and he had to land 10 tons of cod to Peterhead from his trip. The recovery in the cod stock is not by any means patchy."

    According to Scottish Sea Fisheries Statistics, the amount of fishing effort by the Scottish fleet has declined by a massive 70% between 2000 and 2011. Furthermore, the latest scientific figures from the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES) reveals that the spawning stock biomass of North Sea cod has increased by 250% from 2006 to 2012. Fishing mortality for cod (or the amount of fish being taken out of the sea) has declined by 43% between 2000 and 2011.

    Bertie Armstrong, chief executive of the SFF, said: “The decline in fishing effort and the amount of cod being taken out of the North Sea is quite dramatic and helps explain the relative abundance of fish that our fishermen are now finding on the grounds.

    “It should not be forgotten that fishermen have made huge sacrifices over the last 10 years or so to reach this stage. The number of fishing vessels has dramatically declined and there have been strict effort controls as well. In addition, we have developed our own measures such as technical alterations to nets to significantly reduce discards and implementing real-time area closures to protect juvenile and spawning fish.

    “In essence, our fishermen are by regulation taking much longer to catch much less fish, which has been achieved against a background of high operating costs. The important step now is to ensure that fishermen are rewarded for this increasing stock of cod and other fish through enhanced catching opportunities in the future. Survival of the fishing communities will depend on this.

    “However, this must be achieved through careful fisheries management based on the science so as to ensure the continuation of sustainable harvesting that enables the stock to prosper. Our fishermen completely understand this - but given the cycle of time it takes for scientific data collection and analysis, the recovery actually occurs before official recognition. This first detection of increased fish abundance is made by the men at sea - the fishermen. Every effort is now being made to incorporate this early warning that fishermen can provide on stocks - which would equally apply if any stock was declining - into the scientific assessment process.

    “With the horse-meat scandal and other food scare stories being prominent in the media at the moment, the recovery of cod and other fish stocks in the North Sea is a good news story for the consumer. Scottish fish is an extremely high quality food product that has a low carbon footprint and is healthy to eat. Our resounding message to consumers is to demand from retailers and restaurants more Scottish fish."

  8. #38
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    http://www.guardian.co.uk/environmen...tingstall-seas

    Benyon hits out at Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall in defence of sea conservation plans

    UK environment minister says campaigners do not understand the costs involved in creating 'properly' protected zones




    The environment minister, Richard Benyon, has hit back at critics of the UK's plans to protect England's marine life, singling out campaigner Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall as failing to understand the cost involved in creating dozens of "properly" protected marine conservation zones (MCZs).

    Writing in the Guardian on Friday, Benyon said the TV chef did not think "he would trouble his viewers with matters of cost", but the minister did not "have that luxury".

    Fearnley-Whittingstall led a march on Westminster last month, urging the government to stick to its original plan of designating 127 MCZs that would be protected from damaging trawling and dredging. Last December the government said it would create just 31 zones because of a lack of scientific evidence on other sites.

    But Benyon was trenchant in his defence of the smaller number of zones, writing: "I had a conversation with Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall and explained that it was quite an achievement to have got this far at a time when government budgets were being cut. I asked him to suggest, if I ignored the science and designated all 127 sites at a cost of millions, where should I get the money?"

    He argued that it was better to have fewer zones that are policed by enforcement agencies rather than more "lines on maps".

    "For some it's a binary issue. Designate all 127 or you are a penny-pinching minister who is in the pocket of the fishing industry. In fact it would have been easy to designate vast areas of the UK's waters that are of little ecological value because it would have looked good on a map. Instead we are doing this properly."

    The Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) is running a consultation on MCZs that closes on 31 March.

    Responding to Benyon's comments, Fearnley-Whittingstall told the Guardian: "The sticking point for me and for the tens of thousands of citizens who have written to the Defra consultation on MCZs in support of a full network of sites to protect our seas is simple. Benyon has given no timeframe for a second tranche of sites or even a commitment that there will be any more at all beyond the first 31. Given yet another opportunity to do so in today's Guardian he has failed to take it."

    He added: "He can hardly be surprised if we question whether he is losing his ambition on MCZs. Or perhaps he is losing government support to deliver on his original commitment for a fully coherent network? If he says he needs more science and more money, then that is a reasonable point we can all discuss – but he needs to couple it with a clear commitment to go further, otherwise what will that money and that science be for?"

    Joan Edwards, head of living seas for the Wildlife Trusts, which has been at the forefront of campaigning for a larger network of zones, said: "Government says it wants more evidence to show that the rest of the 127 sites are worthy of protection. However, there is an existing mass [of evidence] which has not yet been taken into account, including its own evidence, collected at a cost of £5m, and more gathered by stakeholders in 2012.. For meaningful marine protection to begin, the minister must now set a clear timetable for the designation of a wider network. Our seas' resources are not inexhaustible."

    A spokesman at the National Trust said it was "disappointed" that only 31 out of 127 originally recommended zones were going ahead. He said: "We believe that the 'precautionary' principle should apply with the full list of 127 protected until full and proper consideration has been given to all proposed marine conservation zones. There is an urgent need for the government to work in collaboration with others to produce a timetable for designation of the full network of 127 sites."

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