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South East Euro MP Sharon Bowles meets with Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall to discuss Fish Fight campaign

June 1, 2011 10:10 AM

Euro MP Sharon Bowles, who represents South East England at the European Parliament, met with Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall this week to discuss Fish Fight - the campaign to reform the EU's Common Fisheries Policy (CFP).

Fish Fight was launched on the back of a series of TV programmes in which chef Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall highlighted, among other things, the practice of 'discards' - a CFP requirement which forces fishermen to throw 'surplus' fish dead back in to the sea.

Ms Bowles, who has long campaigned for CFP reform and has visited fishing communities across the South East in the past few months, met with Mr Fearnley-Whittingstall at theBrusselslaunch of Fish Fight.

Ms Bowles said:

"Hugh's Fish Fight campaign has been great for raising awareness of discards but having spoken with fishermen across the South East their main concern is quota allocation.

"The current system allows sub-10 metre class boats to catch 1.5 kg of cod per day but when you consider that one cod can weigh 3 kg, that is a catch of half a cod per day per boat - not enough to cover the cost of fuel let alone pay the crew.

"I wholeheartedly support Hugh's Fish Fight campaign as discarding dead fish is an abhorrent practice which must be stopped but I will also be continuing the fight for fairer quota allocation, so that small fishing communities across the South East don't lose out."