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Fish Fight Launches In Europe

EU - Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall's Fish Fight campaign launches today (31 May) in Europe, with the help of Commissioner Maria Damanaki.

The Fish Fight campaign began in the UK in 2010 to allow the British public to voice their concerns over fish discards and over the problems with the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP).

So far the campaign has been supported by more than 675.000 people and recently won a BAFTA award in the feature category.

Launching outside the EU Parliament building in Brussels, Mr Fearnley-Whittingstall commented that they always planned to bring the campaign to Brussels.

“To my delight, the number of names on that petition now stands at over 676,000, and it’s still rising every hour of every day. And I’ve come to Brussels today to honour my pledge to every single one of those Fish Fighters”, Mr Fearnley-Whittingstall said.

By taking the petition to the European Fisheries Commisaioner, Maria Damanaki, it will allow for the voices of campaigners to be heard and added to the talks over the CFP reform.

Ms Damanaki commented: "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."

Mr Fearnley-Whittingstall stated that he was delighted that Ms Damanaki has taken the campaign to heart. He added: “through her leadership, the ending of discards is now the top priority for a reformed CFP. But to achieve this, she needs your support, here in Brussels today, and all over Europe tomorrow”.

Alongside the launch in Brussels, the campaign also involves the launch of the Fish Fight website in French, German and Spanish. “We want to give the whole of Europe a voice to help end discards” stated Hugh.

The European Commission added that later in the year larger campaign launches will take place in four specific target countries. These campaigns will be launched by local fish fighting celebrities in Germany, France, Spain and Poland.

The European Commission is currently finalising its proposals for a thorough reform of the EU's CFP 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.

For more information on the campaign see www.fishfight.net

the Fish Site Editor

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