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Sharkey-infested waters: anti-fish farming group nets influential voice

Feargal Sharkey is now a vice-president of S&TC. Photo: Twitter.
Feargal Sharkey is now a vice-president of S&TC. Photo: Twitter.

Contentious assertions from lobby group Salmon and Trout Conservation (S&TC) may now have a more populist Undertone to them after the organisation recruited 70s and 80s punk-turned-pop star Feargal Sharkey.

The former Undertones frontman and lifelong fly fisherman has said he is “honoured, flattered, delighted” to be named as a vice-president of S&TC, which opposes net-pen salmon farming.

Sharkey, 62, made the comment on Twitter in response to S&TC chief executive Nick Measham’s announcement of the appointment.

Unlike the Scottish branch of S&TC, which directs almost all its efforts against what it claims is the damage done to wild salmon by net-pen fish farming, the parent organisation also devotes much of its resources into preventing damage to rivers.

Chalk streams

This dovetails with the work of Sharkey, who has also campaigned against the pollution of British rivers, particularly chalk streams.

Last month he appeared in an episode of Mortimer & Whitehouse: Gone Fishing to discuss the environmental pressures faced by Britain’s chalk rivers, during a conversation by the River Lea in south east England.

He has also written an article on river pollution for the S&TC website, which can be read here.

Teenage Kicks

The Undertones, formed in 1976, had hits with songs such as Teenage Kicks and My Perfect Cousin, and Sharkey later went on to have a solo No.1 record, A Good Heart.

He later went to work in the business side of the music industry, including a spell as chief executive of British Music Rights, which protects the intellectual property of artists.

In 2009 he was placed in 56th position in The Guardian’s list of the 100 most powerful people in the media, and last year received an OBE for services to the music industry.