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The picture painted of fishermen by TV chef Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, who is campaigning to halt the wasteful discarding of millions of tonnes of fish, isn’t true of the shellfish industry, says the Holderness Fishing Industry Group.

It says the fishery has more in common with ranching, with large amounts of bait entering the system as feed. If thrown back, under-sized crabs and lobsters can survive – unlike fish.

CEO Mike Cohen said: “At the moment catches and stock assessments suggest stocks are rising and that’s because of the type of fishery it is. Cod can’t survive the change in pressure, but crab and lobster are none the worse for being brought up and dropped back in.”