FISHING INTO THE FUTURE EVENT PROVIDED KEY DISCUSSION PLATFORM
Fishing into the Future event provided key discussion platform. Industry-led UK charity, Fishing into the Future (FITF), relaunched with an online event on Thursday 1st April 2021. The event brought together people working in UK fisheries to share successful examples of co-management and industry-led data collection, which then led to a lively discussion on the inherent challenges and opportunities within these processes, and what this means for future management of our fisheries. FITF Vice-Chair, Adrian Bartlett, helped to facilitate this dialogue and has shared some of his thoughts post-event on the FITF website:
“I come from a family of fishermen in South Devon, and through the course of my life have worked my way up from deckhand to skipper, and now work throughout the supply chain, sharing my passion for locally sourced shellfish with the Great British public. Not long ago I took on a new challenge to fill the position of Vice-Chair at the independent and fishermen-led charity Fishing into the Future – and I had to rapidly step up to the position on April 1st at the FITF relaunch event, by hosting a conversation around the future of fisheries management. While we were prepping, my fellow Trustees and I were nervous about how this conversation would go – never before has the industry endured such hard times, and people are angry and disillusioned while struggling to keep their heads above water. Given we’ve hit rock bottom, can we pull together to find our way back out?
“I really have to hand it to the people from the industry who joined the event. Despite the difficulties we are faced with, people showed up to contribute respectfully and partake in a constructive dialogue on issues such as co-management and industry-led data collection. We saw old friends and new faces, small vessel owners who spoke for themselves and bigger players who have people that speak for them, and we encouraged some of the more timid voices among us to speak up and share their insights. We managed to have a rich conversation in a safe and neutral space where everyone’s voice was of equal value, and where government and scientists were willingly listening to us (and seemed to be agreeing with what we said!).
“It gave me tremendous pride to feel part of a bigger picture, and I sincerely hope we carry on working together as one industry – putting aside fractious differences and pulling together over shared common goals, to move towards a better future for our fisheries sector.”
Photo credit: Fishing into the Future