BBC Fisheries Coverage

15th June 2011 in Media

The NFFO holds a seat on the BBC’s Rural Affairs Committee.

The Committee’s meetings are attended by the Head of BBC Rural Affairs, as well as many of the producers and journalists who make programmes covering agriculture, fisheries and environmental issues.

A recent meeting of the Committee provide an opportunity for the Federation to update the BBC on the main issues confronting our industry; this type of briefing sometimes leads directly to the commissioning of specific items on fishing. This is important as a counterweight to the many poorly informed and sensationalist programmes that we have been subject to in recent years. The highly respected Country file programme, with regular audiences of 5 to 6 million, is the most watched factual programme on TV.

The Federation provided a brief overview of the main issues currently facing the fishing industry, including:

  • CFP Reform: will decentralisation involve a genuine transfer of responsibilities?
  • Domestic Quota reform: inshore concerns and viable solutions
  • Discards: English discards reduced by 50% in last10 years
  • Marine Conservation Zones: potential displacement
  • Offshore Wind-farms: potential displacement
  • Shellfish policy: dangers and advantages
  • Review of the EU Cod Management Plan: the need for a more intelligent approach

The update seems to have made an impact, as the Federation has been asked to make a full presentation at the next meeting of the Committee, in October. This will provide an opportunity to encourage the BBC to cover the more important areas of fisheries policy and to partially redress the downright misleading media coverage that we have all become used to.