Fish Fight

Shhh . . . mute it

When people take action…politicians have to listen

Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall

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Back in October 2010,Fish fight was launched by chef, broadcaster and campaignerHugh Fearnley-Whittingstall

Hugh was appalled at how much edible fish was being caught in the North Sea, and then thrown back overboard, dead, because of the crazy EU laws

50%thrown backdead was created to host a petition against this senseless waste

Mr or Mrs Fish Fighter

870,000 from 195 countries felt the same way and added their names to the petition

Our fish fighting army was born…

People Power

Beyond the petition, our fish fighters kept the pressure high

225,000emails sent

Claire Claire Neill

York's MP Hugh Bailey has written to confirm he'll be signing the Fish Fight EDM @hughsfish-fight @rivercottage @bigfishfight Very pleased!

Julie Girling @juliegirling

Fighting hard to hold the line on a #discards ban against the #EPP …and people still ask me why we left them!

vickyford MEP @vickyford

Looking forward to voting to end fish discards tomorrow #fishfight

220,000 tweets to meps

Nikki Sinclaire MEP @NSinclaireMEP

Voting on Common Fisheries Policy Tomorrow

Amy Amy O'Donnell

The sea is resilient but it can't be if we carry on damaging fish stocks and marine habitats. Go Hugh #fishfight

Rebecca Taylor @RTaylor_MEP

Note to constituents emailing about #EU #CFP reform: I'm in favour of proposals to ban #discards & end #overfishing etc, no worries there!

Celebrities in Germany, France, Spain and Poland launched their own fish fights

More info More info More info More info

3 years later Nov 2013 Europe's politicians have voted to ban discards

Great result!

(But that's not all the campaign did . . . )

It has changed the way consumers across Europe buy their fish

105,000 iPhone app downloads putting up to date, sustainable choice in the nation's pocketsAvailable on the App Store

fish app screen 1 fish app screen 2 fish app screen 3 fish app screen 4

All the major UK supermarkets and tuna suppliers were persuaded to change their fish sourcing policies

50,000 wrote to John West to ask them to stop catching turtles & sharks

Sales of undervalued fish increased by 150% in some supermarkets

mackerel gurnard dab

What is this fish?

Not knowing this isn't just shellfish it's wrong

For cod's sake

Well done you're moving up the scale

42,000 people took the fish fight quiz

Most people could do batter! . . .

8 hours of TV on Channel 4

viewed by more than 3 million people every week

Re-broadcast in 28 other countries around the world


Screened at 11 international film festivals

hughs fish fight

Stop and watch some


During series one had 40,000 petition sign-ups during one advert break

Petition sign-ups rise from 30,000 to 500,000 in just 3 days

Jan 11th 201030,000 sign-ups episode one
Jan 12th 2010270,000 sign-ups episode two
Jan 13th 2010500,000 sign-ups episode three

255,000 Facebook fans

47,000 Followers on Twitter

692,000 Views on Youtube page views 12 million during series one

Our celebrity supporters furthered the campaign and carried the message to an online audience of over 16,000,000

"It isn't fair on fishermen or fish eaters and it certainly isn't fair on fish. A policy that makes it an offence NOT to throw away thousands of tonnes of good food is clearly a broken policy. You can't conserve fish stocks by throwing dead fish back in the sea..."Ricky Gervais

"The Fish Fight is important. Damned important. It is so fantastically easy for us to make a difference by doing a small something and so appallingly easy for us to be complicit in a complete disaster by doing a big nothing. So what’s it to be then?" Stephen Fry

"It just doesn't make any sense that in this day and age, when we are so aware of the depletion of our fish stocks, thousands of tonnes of dead fish are being thrown back into the sea. Somthing has to be done and by supporting this campaign we are one step closer to bringing about reform."Gordon Ramsay

A Mackerel Mission!

Tim Maddams

River Cottage chef Tim Maddams took us all on a mackerel mission

He persuaded 450 fish & chip shops in the UK to start selling

Mac Baps £3.50A healthy and sustainablealternative to cod

6000 fish & chip shops were added to the Mac map

Even Prince Charles was spotted, trying a bap

Oxford Street

Oxford Street shoppers got the chance to SMS their support and control Hugh in the window of Selfridges & Co

marine protect

Credit: Colin Munro

In 2013 Fish Fight campaigned for more marine protected areas

24,000 fish fighters emailed the government to support marine conservation zones

sos save our seas
pins pins pins
hughs fish fight

A Fish Fight investigation found illegal and unsustainable fish being fed to king prawns in Thailand

Twitter live in broadcast

Hugh asked fish fighters to tweet the supermarkets to ask what their prawns are eating

Hugh with prawns

Fish Tweet


You can help,
by tweeting the supermarket you shop at (or all three)
tweet now:


What are your prawns eating? #fishfight

Morrisons Tesco Cooperative Food


Thank you for supporting Hugh's
Fish Fight, please come again

16,000 tweets were sent over the ad break

rising to30,000+ over the following ten minutes

Fish fight made great use of twitter's live, public and conversational nature to activate and involve their viewers in the show's campaign - with impressive results

Dan Biddle Broadcast Partnerships Twitter UK

Thanks to the pressure created by fish fight, a giant Thai shrimp company has promised to sort out their prawn feed supply

Along the way we had the help and support of many fantastic friends including. . .

Marine Conservation Society Ocean 2012 Blue Marine Foundation Greenpeace Global Ocean ClientEarth EFTTA Sealife Selfridges RSPB fish to fork WWF Bit Back Wildlife Trusts PEW Trusts Oceanus Sibic Ecodes Oceana Sustain Reset Fish 4 Future SSACN ICSF.png Salmon Trout Association ZSL Goodplanet Foundation Biaza BirdLife River Cottage Wake Project Project Aware Fundacion Lonxanet NCASS WSFA Marine Life Bloom ATA Angling Trust Cemma The Deep EIFCA Deepwave Klub Gaja Followfish Fair-Fish BASC ADEGA LPO Sprzatanie Fundacja Eko Unia BSAC
Maria Damanaki David Cameron

We need effective campaigns like Hugh's Fish Fight to wake up people to support changeMaria damanaki, EU Fisheries Minister

The current regime of discarding fish that are perfectly healthy is not acceptable and needs to changeDavid Cameron, Prime Minister

Hugh thanks

The impact of the Fish Fight discards campaign would not have been possible withoutfunding from the following . . .

Channel 4 Adessium foundation Oak Foundation Baltic Sea 2020 The Waterloo Foundation

And the talent and dedication of many colleagues. I would like to thank them all . . .

  • maddy allen
  • will anderson
  • Andy bailey
  • Dafydd baines
  • Zam Baring
  • Simon beeley
  • Nick blackford
  • Belle borgeaud
  • David bourke
  • Lucy Brazier
  • beverly brimble
  • sean brkovic
  • joanna broom
  • Mike carling
  • Charles clover
  • rebecca comer
  • ella cosby
  • Mark davenport
  • simon deverell
  • Helen dulay
  • Will edwards
  • cécile emery
  • Germán Fares
  • frankie fathers
  • Adam gee
  • Spike golding
  • Luke hallam
  • nathan harrison
  • Michael harte
  • Neil harvey
  • jo haslam
  • Alex Heaton
  • Richard hill
  • Andy hoare
  • Andrew Jackson
  • Morwenna james
  • Robbie Johnston
  • Tom keegan
  • Lauren kelly
  • Chris king
  • jake lea-wilson
  • Giles llewellyn thomas
  • trevor lopez de vergara
  • Jane Lucy
  • magdelena ludwig
  • paul machin
  • Willie mackenzie
  • Tim maddams
  • luc martinon
  • lucy meadows
  • Gillon Mellor
  • Jade miller-robinson
  • Sue murphy
  • marek nawracaj
  • andrew palmer
  • Simon parmenter
  • beatriz pavon
  • Johann perry
  • Mel pritchard
  • william rejault
  • Steve rosier
  • Lauren rowles
  • anke schiemann
  • tina schütze
  • adam scott
  • Jonathan shaw
  • jacky sloane
  • Simon Sykes
  • Kate teckman
  • murry toms
  • nick underhill
  • Jess Upton
  • Ángel varela pena
  • Louise vitols
  • Johnny wagner
  • Mike walker
  • Tim watts
  • callum webster
  • Jim wickens
  • Andrew willsomore
  • Fred windsor-clive
  • David wooley
  • Mike Wooley

Most of all, thanks to our hundreds of thousands of supporters around the world

Keep fish fighting!

Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall

Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall


Celebrity chef Tim Mälzer launched his Fish Fight outside the German parliament in April 2012. Tim appeared on talk shows and in the press discussing the issue of discards. German politicians have shown strong support for ending discards and overfishing in the new CFP.

Fish Fight France has been led by actress Mélanie Laurent and celebrity chefs Francois Pasteau and Pierre Sang Boyer. Fish Fight France has received official communications from the French minister of Fisheries, as well as French President François Hollande.

“Ni Un Pez Por La Borda” has been led by TV presenter and climatologist Mario Picazo. It gained more than 700 TV, radio, online and press mentions, and received official responses from the Spanish government.

The Ryba Za Burta campaign was led by celebrity chef Robert Makłowicz. Film screenings took place in the constituencies of key Polish MEPs, and the campaign received a positive response from Fisheries Minister Marek Sawicki.