Channel 4: Hugh’s Big Fish Fight – starts tonight

Channel 4: Hugh's Big Fish Fight

Tonight sees the launch of the Big Fish Fight season on Channel 4 with Hugh’s Fish Fight at 9pm. All their top chefs have joined forces to champion sustainable seafood and celebrate lesser known delicacies of the deep. If you are watching tonight and on twitter Channel 4 would love you to use the hashtag #BigFishFight and follow @BigFishFight, sign up to the page to be kept informed about the campaign and visit for recipes and other exclusive content.

To see a preview clip, click here BigFishFight

Hugh’s Fish Fight

(Tue 11 Jan, 9pm, C4)

Hugh heads out into the North Sea in search of cod and to campaign against the waste of precious food resources.

Three years ago, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall galvanised public opinion when he launched his initiative to create greater awareness about chickens. Now Hugh sets out to understand what is happening to Britain’s fishing industry.

It is well known there is a problem in the oceans. Hugh wants to find out what is going on at the industrial end of our fisheries. And what he finds is that it’s not just bad – it’s mad. What Hugh discovers is that up to half the fish being caught in the North Seais being thrown back into the sea dead, because of what he believes are crazy EU rules.

Hugh launches his most ambitious campaign yet, to try and put an end to this shameful practice. It’s a fight which will take to some dark and unexpected places – not least the corridors of power in Brussels.

In an effort to encourage the nation to eat different kinds of fish, and so relieve the pressure on the cod, tuna and salmon, Hugh and his Head Chef Tim launch an audacious campaign to revolutionise the chippy.

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dave street

Hi Hugh and everyone concerned in the fight,
Let me start by wishing you well in your endeavour. The chronic waste of food that the EU is responsible for is unnecessary, unforgivable and detrimental to the entire fishing industry. Apart from stripping the country of a vocation I was honoured to be a part of for ten years. It has created wastelands of towns with a proud fishing heritage. I remain consciously aware of the devastation the EU is causing, and has been, since the late seventies when I started in the industry.
Aside from the financial impact and indeed, the social impact this decimation has caused, families are being deprived of a vital food source due to the overpricing of now scarce fish. Not scarce because of over fishing, which is the cop out most used.
But because of the sell out of our industry several years ago for enhanced farming rights that caused their own problems with the ‘Butter Mountain’ and the ‘Milk Lake’.
I personally have been party to the dumping of perfectly edible fish. We inadvertently netted about 5 tonnes of Herring during the Herring ban. After a phone call to the ministry of agriculture, fisheries and farming in which we pleaded to be able to land the fish and distribute it free of charge to hospitals, old peoples homes and the like. we were told to dump the now dead fish or face a hefty fine.
I have also dumped many many tonnes of fish over the side because they are out of quota.
It is well documented that sustainable fishing methods have worked with great success in the North Sea for many years and the fish stocks are at a very healthy level.
If you can do anything to bring about a change in the thinking of the EU. And at the same time restore faith in the great, great men who risk their lives daily to put food on our table, fair play to you.
Best regards,
David Street.
(Former deep sea fisherman)


Thank you so much David, for leaving such an insightful and heartfelt response to my blog about Hugh’s Big Fish Fight. As a fellow supporter of the campaign myself, that be it from a consumer point of view only, I completely agree with your and Hugh’s opinion that something desperately needs to be done. Food waste on all levels is unacceptable, be it in the farming of, distribution, selling, at home preparation and eating – hopefully with many passionate voices like ours, a change may happen. I’ll be sure to forward your comments to all concerned at Channel 4. Thanks again.

mark pickering

Hello hugh and everybody concerned with the cause,
I watched with horror at the amount of good edible fish that was and has been thrown overboard over the last,. what ”10 years” I worked as a fishmonger for an high street supermarket for around 4 years and watched the price of white fish rise considerably but at the same time the price of salmon fall which was remarkable,one of the challenges of my job was to get the british public to try different fish coley,hake,pollock,red fish, it was like trying to run through a brick wall, you try to change the mind of the yorkshire public ! we found that yorkshire public would only buy haddock and lancashire public cod which i found very interesting, and also your show when you were trying to change habits with the mackerel ( brilliant t.v ) we once cooked up some shark ( deep fryed ) for the yorkshire public to try and they absolutely loved it, now back to the waste
this has to stop, and stop now,but how do we go about it,what can i/we do to help

Thanx mark pickering


Hi Mark

Thank you so much for adding your comments to my blog post. As you will see from my site, I’m really passionate about reducing all types of waste, particularly in the home, but in a way that is simple, easy and green. With food prices rising and waste growing, programmes like the Big Fish Fight show what a huge issue we still have to tackle.

I thought Hugh’s programme was very similar to the BBC’s Great British Waste Menu which was aired earlier in the year, which I blogged about, in that it allowed the public to finally have an opportunity to see what waste is happening ‘behind the scenes’ too. Another situation which needs to be kept in the public eye.

I can completely imagine the difficulty of trying to change habits/tastes of a lifetime, but we’ve got to change, excess farming of any one food source is unsustainable. I’m going to be fortunate enough soon to have a selection of fish to experiment cooking with, I’ll be posting my experiences on here too – any recipes will be gladly received!

In the meantime, have you added your support to the campaign, I’ve added the link here:

By supporting this campaign, your name will be added to a letter to be sent to Commissioner Maria Damanaki, members of the Common Fisheries Policy Reform Group, and all MEPs.

All we can hope is that the tide will turn (excuse the pun) and that with the issue being raised and people like us wanting to make a difference, change will happen.

Thanks again for adding your comments,



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