Did you see Gordon Ramsay: Shark Bait last week? It was part of Channel 4’s Big Fish Fight Season in which Hugh Fearnely-Whittingstall, Jamie Oliver and Ramsay highlight the issue of over-fishing and campaign to end the outrageous fish discards which result from the EU Common Fisheries Policy. If you didn’t, then feel free to click on the above hyperlink that will take you to the show on 4OD.
Why would I want you to do this? Keen as I am on people hearing the message of this campaign and changing their behaviour as a result (I for one will be eschewing cod in favour of some pollock, dab and pouting), I would like you to watch this from the point of view of qualitative research and insight.
But, if you haven’t got 45 minutes to watch this or Ramsay’s incessant swearing and pogo-ing is not your thing, then suffice it to say that, this is a fantastic guide of how not to investigate a sensitive issue!
A few key learnings: A Costa Rican security man’s reluctance to speak with you as you shout at him in English does not mean that he has something to hide – Maybe he doesn’t speak English? Maybe he finds your body-language and raised voice threatening? Maybe he doesn’t like the fact that you’re accompanied by a cameraman? Maybe he’s scared he’ll lose his job?
Isn’t it completely understandable that a head-waiter who doesn’t know you from Adam, should bar you from entering his exclusive restaurant without appointment to survey his customers about the ethics of the content of the $90-a-bowl soup.
The presence of what Ramsay termed a “dodgy black car, blacked out windows” on a Taiwanese street did not necessarily mean that something underhand was underway, have a look around Gordon, what cars do Taiwanese business men drive? The sun is blazing down, do you think that the UV protective qualities of tinted windows might be an appealing option for those who can afford the luxury of a Mercedes?
It’s a real shame! This documentary should raise outrage, but due to the fact that shark finning is a despicable practice not due to the poor quality of the investigation.
Now, Oliver and Fearnley-Whittingstall on the other hand, both earnest and cuddly, what’s not to like?