Campaigning TV chef Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall is consulting UK fishermen over the extension of Marine Protected Areas as he prepares to cover the thorny issue in his third instalment of Hugh’s Fish Fight next year.

MPAs are protected from damage caused by fishing activity. The government plans to designate a number of new MPAs and is gearing up to launch a consultation next month on 127 proposed MPAs.

In a video uploaded on YouTube this month, addressed to fishermen, Fearnley-Whittingstall said he had been around the world, looking at MPAs. “I’ve seen how fish stocks and the sea bed have recovered in places that are now protected from heavy fishing pressure and I’ve heard from fishermen how these areas are now benefiting them.”

In the video he asked UK fishermen to submit a short video to YouTube giving their thoughts on MPAs. “Do you think MPAs are a good thing? Should there be more of them around the UK? If not, why not? And do you have any specific answers around them that you’d like answered?” he asked.

Fearnley-Whittingstall pledged to invite some respondees to take part in a live Google Hangout, which The Grocer understands is scheduled for Monday (26 November).

Industry body, Seafish, said it had been encouraging fishermen to respond to Hugh’s call.

Channel 4 - the broadcaster of Fish Fight - would not confirm editorial content but said a three-part series would be televised early next year. “It’s in three parts and part of the series will cover marine conservation.”

In August, The Grocer revealed that, over the summer, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall had been looking into trawling and scallop dredging, with a view to exploring the controversial catch methods during next year’s Hugh’s Fish Fight series.

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