A TV show cooking segment featured a chef frying fish. It ended up being a near-extinct species – and fishermen were furious.

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An Australian TV show featured a chef frying fish during a cooking segment last week – but that fish happened to be a near-extinct species. The broadcaster and chef have since issued an apology after fishermen condemned the segment. 

ORF, a public radio and TV broadcaster in Austria, apologized for cooking a Frauennerfling fish, according to AFP.

The chef also said he was sorry and explained that he had “asked a friend to get him some fish” when he was asked to make a Lent-friendly meal on the show. During Lent, practicing Christians usually abstain from eating meat on Fridays, AFP reports.

“It was a chain of unfortunate events, because I trusted my friend who had a license to fish a related species and thought that also includes this fish,” he told AFP by telephone.

According to local publication Die Presse, during a broadcast this week of the show “Niederösterreich Today,” moderator Claudia Schubert issued an apology: “Last week we overcooked a fish in ‘Deliciously Culinary,’ the Frauennerfling. But it is protected all year round. We apologize for that, we had different information about this.”

Danube Roach (Rutilus pigus), illustration
A Rutilus pigus, the scientific name for Frauennerfling

De Agostini via Getty Images/De Agostini via Getty Images


The fish has been red-listed in Austria since 2002 and is on the brink of extinction, according to AFP. 

Also called a “female nerfling” in translations, or a “pigo,” hunting of this carp has been closed year-round since 1998 in Germany and since at least 2006 in Bavaria. It has been red-listed – meaning it is in danger – by the ICUN, an international conservation organization that is part of the United Nations, since 2013.

Gregor Gravogl, director of Austria’s fishery association said his organization filed a complaint this week about the fishing of the endangered species. “This is an extremely sad incident I have not come across in my career yet,” Gravogl said. 

The recipe from the cooking segment is still available online, urging the fish should be “from a fisherman you trust,” according to AFP. 

CBS News has reached out to ORF and Gravogl for more information and is awaiting a response. 

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