From River Cottage to Weston beach

PUBLISHED: 08:00 05 August 2012 | UPDATED: 11:08 05 August 2012

Filming on Weston Beach.

Filming on Weston Beach.


RIVER Cottage chef Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall spent an afternoon on Weston beach to film part of his new Channel 4 series.

The celebrity chef and broadcaster arrived in Weston to shoot some follow-up material for the campaign he started last year, which holds the same title as his new show - Hugh’s Fish Fight.

His campaign is concerned with changing EU laws and banning discards, which are healthy fish thrown back into the sea dead.

These fish are often unmarketable species, fish which are below minimum landing sizes and catches of species which fishermen are not allowed to land, for example due to quota restrictions.

Hugh said the aim of the Weston episode was to focus on marine protected areas and to show people what is actually going on out at sea.

He said: “The problem is it is all happening out at sea, where it is out of sight and out of mind.

“But we created a marine environment on Weston beach, with lots of marine habitats. We invited lots of families and people down to actually show what happens when you put heavy gear through marine areas.

“It will make a difference if people make their voices heard. There is a network of marine reserves and that kind of noise makes a difference.”

More than 800,000 people have so far signed Hugh’s petition online at

So far he has been filming in Thailand, the Philippines, and Antarctica and said he decided to make Weston one of the filming spots to get a local angle to the show.

He said: “I’m a West Country person and I want to do things as locally as possible. We could not have imagined doing this anywhere else.

“With this holiday time beach we got a good crowd, and were able to meet lots of lovely families.

“Lots of people came to see what we were doing and we were able to put the word out.

“This show aims to show that anyone who wants to eat fish needs to be concerned about where that fish is coming from.”

And for the celebrity chef, he told the Mercury his favourite catch of the day would be mackerel.

He said: “It’s my favourite fish. It’s great to catch, delicious, easy to cook and healthy.”

The campaign series, Hugh’s Fish Fight, will be broadcast at the end of the year.

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