Who wants to go diving around the UK? I mean, the marine life is meant to be fabulous to look at (if you're lucky enough to be able to find an area that hasn't been dredged to death), but the water's cold. Quite similar then to a recent march that took place to support Marine Reserve Zones across Westminster Bridge. It was icy cold - (no one ever organises a protest march in the height of summer do they? But then, when is the height of summer these days?), but some of the marine life you could see was pretty spectacular... (If you like your cod 6ft long, a cartoonish brown colour and with a human being stuck through it's middle....)
The event that called all these wonderful and bizarre... specimens... out from wherever they were hiding was a march for Hugh’s Fish Fight to tell parliament that we need more marine reserve zones. A group of fishy delegates from local Greenpeace groups (including some West Dorset Die Hards) neatly choreographed into one big shoal, crossed Westminster Bridge to lend support to this vital campaign.
Across the bridge, we gathered outside parliament to hear Hugh speak about the campaign – which has been running on Channel 4 and can be watched on 4OD if you’re interested. This year he has been looking at global fishing problems rather than just concentrating on discards – a good step forwards I think. Discards are shocking, unpleasant and wasteful, but not the whole picture of what’s going on in our seas. This year’s campaign, to encourage ministers to create more protective zones around our isles, is vital. Fisheries scientists say it is one of the best possible ways to protect live in our seas – life that is seriously under threat for a number of reasons – and life that maintains an ecosystem we crucially depend upon as around 70% of the worlds oxygen is produced in the oceans.
Of course, Hugh was stressing it from a chef’s point of view. His main point was about saving life in the seas so it could be eaten by future generations. Fair enough, as the majority of the world’s population live on coastlines and depend on fish stocks to feed themselves and their communities. But to me, there is something much bigger at stake than just not being able to eat fish (especially because I’m a ‘real’ vegetarian). Simply, we need to save the seas because without them we cannot save the planet. Enough said, I think.