Leading Journal of the Irish & UK Fishing Industries

Industry-led UK charity, Fishing into the Future (FITF), relaunches with an online event on Thursday 1st April 2021. The event aims to provide an opportunity for people working in UK fisheries to have their say on the future of UK fisheries management and will be chaired and facilitated by FITF trustees, who voluntarily support the charity while also running fishing businesses or working closely with the sector.

A year has passed since FITF was able to gather at London’s Docklands for their last residential event “Introduction to Sustainable Fishing”, but as the weather warms up and with better fishing ahead, the UK charity is taking an adapted approach by taking their events online.

FITF focuses on creating learning opportunities, encouraging collaboration, and providing a platform to enable effective dialogue and mutual understanding between the diverse set of people working in the fishing industry, science, and government. The event will focus on the future of fisheries management, as well as hearing some successful case studies of fisheries management and collaborative science from the UK and beyond.  Guests will include Deputy Director of Domestic Fisheries and Reform, Anne Freeman and Jim Watson, head of Domestic Fisheries Management at Marine Scotland, as well as hearing from Jim Evans, Chairman of the Welsh Fishermen’s Association, Alan Steer, Vice-Chair of the South Devon and Channel Shellfishermen, Gus Caslake Independent Chair of the Cornish Sardine Management Association (CSMA), and more.

David Stevens, Chairperson at FITF and Skipper of the Crystal Sea SS 118 gave an insight into the event topic, saying “The term co-management is trending throughout industry conversations, but we still have a way to go to understand what it really means for us. There are already numerous fisheries in the UK that integrate some of the positive attributes of this management style, but widespread co-management is not going to happen overnight, it is going to take time and effort to build trust and knowledge, and tangible milestones need to be set along the way – such as more industry-led data collection. Undoubtedly, we will make mistakes, it’s part of the process to ensure that the sector will endure, grow, and prosper.”

Commenting on why FITF decided to hold the event, FITF Programme Manager, Emma Plotnek, said: “It’s been a tough year since we held our last event, but we want to offer the sector a space for constructive discussion and learning, and at the same time encourage a representative pool of people from the industry to get involved and voice their opinion.”

The event will be held on Thursday 1st April – 14:00-15:30, over zoom, FITF will also be piloting the opportunity for people to watch the event live on their Facebook page. For those participating, break out rooms hosted by FITF trustees will enable deeper discussions on relevant topics. If you want to get involved, you can follow the event on the FITF facebook page @fishingintothefuture, or contact the FITF Programme Manager: emma@fitf.co.uk.