Waste at Source



One of the most high-profile examples of food waste is that of fish ‘discard’ – whereby caught fish are thrown back (dead) into the sea by fishing fleets because they have exceeded their EU quota. This is an example of waste at source.

Discards have become a major feature of the fishing crisis, publicised by the campaign led by celebrity chef Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, who has argued that half of all fish caught in the North Sea are discarded. His Fish Fight was a very creative campaign against the practice of discarding fish on the grounds that the fishing team have exceeded their quota, and that the fish being discarded are less valuable than other species.

His campaign became part of a wider battle against over-fishing, and for changing the way we consume fish, which engaged the public through petitions, challenging them to become more discerning consumers. The Fish Fight campaign also developed effective alliances with movements like Greenpeace to force the large supermarkets (including Tesco and Morrisons) to change their practices – this must be a priority for the future.

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