Welsh Labour's Euro-MP, DEREK VAUGHAN has welcomed celebrity chef Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall and his high profile Fish Fight campaign to Brussels today.
Thousands of people from across Wales have backed the Channel 4 star's call for a reform of the EU's Common Fisheries Policy to stop the current practice of discards, which can result in over half the fish caught by a fishing boat being thrown back overboard dead or dying.
Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall came to Brussels on Tuesday (31 May) in a push to persuade people from other European countries to get on board the Fish Fight campaign.
The first phase of the campaign had concentrated on British TV viewers following a documentary in January.
Today Hugh launched the Fish Fight website in 11 different languages and called on DEREK VAUGHAN and colleagues in the European Parliament to "spread the word" by pushing the campaign out to other countries. He said:
"We've been heard loud and clear in the UK...This is phase two of the campaign."
So far over 680,000 people have signed a petition to the European Commission on the subject. "We want to get to a million calling for an end to discards," added the TV chef.
DEREK VAUGHAN has backed a European Parliament declaration calling for changes to EU fishing policy to increase fish stocks and secure a better deal for local fishermen.
"Hugh's Fish Fight campaign has certainly spurred my constituents into taking action and pushing for reform. We now need to make sure that their voices are heard in the corridors of Brussels and Westminster.
We have to ensure that MEPs listen to people's concerns about the loss of diversity in our seas and the terrible waste caused by current practices.
We want to see a policy that boosts the fish in our seas and the local communities that depend on them.
It is clear that Hugh recognises that this isn't going to be an easy battle, but the Fish Fight campaign is certainly helping us make the case for change that will be good for the long-term prospects of our fish and the fishermen who catch them."
You can find out more about the campaign and sign the petition at: http://www.fishfight.net/