Firstly another very massive thank-you to all of you. Passing the 650,000 mark on our discards protest letter sign up (and the number is still rising) is a fantastic result. Myself and the whole fish fight team are seriously thrilled. Everything you are doing to help is hugely appreciated and most importantly itâ€™s already started to make an impact. Weâ€™ve already had some subsÂtantial wins, many of which you can see on theÂ impact page on our website.
Today is a particularly special day for the campaignÂ â€“ as you may have heard if youâ€™ve caught the news. The EU fisheries commissioner, Maria Damanaki, has called an extraordinary meeting to launch her proposal to ban the practice of “discardsâ€ under a reformed CFP. Itâ€™s an exciting development, that not only shows weâ€™re being heard, but takes us a step closer to the goal of ending this insane waste of good fish.
Itâ€™s important to mention that this is the first stage of a reform process that will take more than a year to complete and no decisions are going to be made at this point. Claims of â€œvictoryâ€ for the campaign would be very premature. My understanding is that it will be a â€œclosed doorsâ€ meeting to kick around some radical ideas â€“ including the discards ban â€“ with fisheries ministers from all the EU countries. We will be following what happens closely and keeping you all informed.
Meanwhile we need to keep the pressure up â€“ and especially to get as many European signatures as possible. Otherwise there is a real danger that these radical ideas will get watered down by the countries that oppose them, and we’ll end up back where we started…
So we still need your help. Please forward this email to your friends asking them to sign the petitionÂ www.fishfight.net â€“ especially any friends or family within Europe as their support could help to make a massive difference. To bring them up to speed (and to remind you what all the fuss is about!) thereâ€™s also aÂ new page of video clipsfrom my Channel 4 Fish Fight shows which you can pass on and spread the word.
The other good news is that 218 MPâ€™s have now signed ourÂ Early Day Motion (EDM) and Zac Goldsmith raised the issue of the Common Fisheries Reform at Prime Ministerâ€™s Questions. If you havenâ€™t already written to your MP urging him to sign the EDM please do so! Getting this issue debated in parliament would be a massive boost to the campaign. You can find out how in ourÂ easy guide here.
One of the things thatâ€™s inspired me the most is the way so many of you have all shown a huge commitment to change your fish eating habits. Reports show indisputably thatÂ sales of sustainable fish have soared in supermarkets. Weâ€™ve also received hundreds of emails and seen thousands of facebook posts and tweets from you all, saying the same thing. And some of you are showing a great deal of flair in the way youâ€™re enjoying your sustainable fish. Weâ€™ve shared some of these pictures as part of ourÂ Fish Fighters Wall of Fame, please do go and take a look.
This is all a direct result of your unwavering support and commitment to action. We know how many of you have written to MPâ€™s, badgered your local supermarkets for more variety and have generally been spreading the word far and wide.
But the fight doesnâ€™t stop here! Plans are afoot for some serious campaigning over the next few days, weeks and months. Iâ€™m more sure than ever that your efforts will really help turn our protests into policy at the European level. So please do keep spreading the word about the Fish Fight.
We are, without a doubt, going to be calling on you for your help some more â€“ so please, as always, stay in touchâ€¦
Very best wishes,