The Pike Anglers Club has hit out at TV chef Rick Stein, after he featured a pike recipe in his programme.

 

Kitchen legend Stein cooked an 8lb fish caught on a French river for the cameras in Rick Stein’s French Odyssey, in which he travels the country by barge sampling fish and seafood cuisine.

 

But the show featured no warning about conserving the species. And the PAC fears the show could encourage more people to kill pike for the table without regard to size limits, after Stein questioned why pike are not eaten more regularly.

 

The repeat screening of the show comes as the Environment Agency steps up patrols across East Anglia in a bid to prevent eastern European migrants taking coarse fish from drains and rivers for food.

 

“While we can’t stop people taking the occasional fish for the table, we believe it was irresponsible for a high-profile TV chef like Rick Stein to promote the killing of pike for food without highlighting the need to conserve the species,” a spokesman said.

 

“Rick Stein asked why we don’t eat more pike, like they do in France. The PAC has campaigned for pike conservation for three decades because the species plays a vital role in the ecology of the waters it inhabits.

 

“Indiscriminate killing of fish has decimated pike stocks across Europe, while European anglers’ impact on pike populations in Ireland have promoted authorities there to impose a maximum size limit of 50cms and a limit of one fish a day to be taken.”

 

The club is now writing to Rick Stein at his restaurant in Padstow, Cornwall, to highlight its concerns.

 

Anyone who shares them can write to:

 

Rick Stein

The Seafood Restaurant

Riverside

Padstow

Cornwall

PL28 8BY

 

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