BBC’s new Trawlermen series fails to address sustainability, coalition says | Fishing

Filmed aboard deep-sea fishing vessels, amid crashing waves that threaten to sweep the entire deck overboard, BBC’s long-running documentary program Trawlermen offers viewers a glimpse into how a crew navigates in one of the most dangerous jobs in the world.

However, the new series, Trawlermen: Hunting the Catch, which launched in October, fails to ‘even briefly’ mention the challenges of the environmental and climate crisis or the bycatch issues facing the fishing industry, according to the coalition. Our Seas of 135 conservation and fishing. organisms.

Our Seas have written to BBC Director General Tim Davie to express concern that the series is “missing the opportunity to explore pressing sustainability issues” in the fishing industry.

The coalition, which includes the Blue Marine Foundation, Sea Shepherd UK and Fauna and Flora International, said footage showed decks ‘writhing with marine life’ being brought on board with trawls, including undersized crabs, fruit bats and even a blue shark, listed as ‘near threatened’ on the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s Red List. A huge amount of this bycatch is thrown back into the sea, having died, but the series presents it as an “acceptable by-product of fishing”, the letter states.

He noted that the BBC, along with 11 other broadcasters, signed the climate content pledge at the Cop26 summit last year, acknowledging its “crucial responsibility” to act on the climate crisis and pledging to generate a content that “inspires…the public to make greener choices.” In a statement, Davie said the move represented a commitment to go “further and faster to engage and educate the public about the climate challenges we face.” we are all confronted”.

Citing a “growing body of evidence” that the seafloor is a vast store of carbon that can be disturbed or damaged by bottom trawling, the coalition said the trawling industry faces a “massive challenge” due to of its carbon footprint.

“And yet the BBC’s Trawlermen: Hunting the Catch series does not explore this theme, suggesting that it was deliberately ignored and that the creators of Trawlermen, filmed just months after Cop26, failed to highlight implements the actions within the framework of the climate content commitment, “It said.

Our Seas said it recognizes the BBC’s guidelines for impartiality require its production “as a whole” to include the breadth of opinion to ensure that “no significant current of thought is… omitted “. However, he questioned whether the BBC “adequately reflected our fishing industry as a whole”.

A BBC spokesperson said: ‘Trawlermen: Hunting the Catch is a new observational documentary that follows deep-sea fishermen from across the country as they risk their lives in one of the most dangerous jobs of Great Britain. The BBC is committed to covering environmental and sustainability issues across all of its production, with recent examples including series such as Frozen Planet II and Our Changing Planet and the Go Green initiative on Radio 2 and the One Show, plus our extensive coverage from Flic27. »

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