Hugh's Fish Fight is scheduled to air in January. As well as exploring the issue of discarding fish at sea, it will look at aquaculture and the environmental issues surrounding global tuna fisheries.
Given the approach taken by Fearnley-Whittingstall in previous food industry campaigns such as Hugh's Chicken Run, which targeted intensive poultry rearing fishing industry insiders are nervous. "I'm not sure how balanced it will be," said one tuna industry source who had been in contact with the series' producers. "I'm hopeful it's an honest look, but I think most of it was in the can by the time they spoke to me."
Although Fearnley-Whittingstall has yet to give an official line on the show's content, he gave a flavour of the likely areas of focus at a low-profile event on 23 November in Westminster.
"I was seeing an aquaculture business importing thousands of tonnes of fishmeal from the other side of the world," he said, commenting on a trip to a Shetland salmon farm. "Peruvian anchovy sucked up on enormous factory ships, ground into a powder, shipped half way round the world and fed to 25,000 salmon in a cage in a Scottish loch being shipped to a supermarket or a ready meal near you."
He added that he had offered shoppers at a Bournemouth shopping centre 300g of small oily fish in return for any 100g of salmon in their basket to highlight the fact it takes 3kg of small fish to produce 1kg of farmed salmon and not a single person had turned him down. "It shows that when the public realise what's at stake they may be prepared to make some different choices," he said.
A salmon industry source said although Fearnley-Whittingstall was right to flag up such issues, salmon farmers were already addressing them.