We are a Charitable Incorporated Organisation (C.I.O.) that has been set up by fishermen, for fishermen with a focus on sustainability. We support sustainability, promote innovation and build prosperity in the UK fishing industry in order to deliver fisheries that maximise their environmental, social and economic potential.
We provide a platform for coordination, enhanced collaboration and participation between the fishing industry and others. We use innovative ways of tackling the issue of sustainability in fisheries, and jointly address issues of significance in partnership with others.
We started as a ‘glimmer in the eye’ of HRH The Prince of Wales. He wished to bring together fishermen who shared concerns about the sustainability of fishing, and the state of our seas. This initial gathering took place in London in 2012, and led to the delivery of a large workshop in Brixham in 2013.
This was the first large-scale collaborative initiative of its’ kind in the UK; bringing together fishermen, scientists, government, environmental groups and other interested stakeholders to chart a course towards a more sustainable and prosperous UK fishing industry. It used a model for engagement that truly leveraged the expertise of all involved, with active, passionate and experienced fishermen at its heart.
We have three Higher Level Objectives:
We want to see:
Fishing into the Future has grown from a need identified – and supported – by a wide range of stakeholders at our inaugural workshop in Brixham. The key themes we will address are:
These themes now underpin our work programmes and project plans.
Fishing into the Future is building a model for the engagement of fishers in order to improve their understanding, uptake and buy-in to various legislative drivers, obligations and initiatives in the management and assessment of fisheries in the UK.
This model will draw on the best the fishing industry has to offer in the UK, as well as wider European and international experience. The model we create, and the social capital we build, will be transferable and applicable to other maritime countries as a model for good practice in fisheries management where leveraging the experience of fishermen is seen as being integral and critical for environmental and societal sustainability.
All our work programmes and products can trace their roots back to our members, supporters and Trustees. Our inaugural meeting in Brixham in 2013 drew up a list of priority areas for us to work in and these are:
These themes now underpin our work programmes and project plans. The range of themes illustrate the pressures felt by the fishing industry as they need to respond to the legislative imperatives of the Common Fisheries Policy and other policy drivers, with key elements such as the Landings Obligation and an Ecosystem-Based approach to Fisheries Management (EBM) being a central consideration for many.
All work programmes are ratified by our Executive Committee before being actioned.
We are a registered charity (number 1160123). We are not a fishermen’s association or organisation, but fishermen are critical to our success and central to our delivery: active fishermen who are determined that their legacy will be respected, sustainable, prosperous and productive fisheries handed down from one generation to the next.
We are not a lobby or pressure group. We will be constructive in all we do, finding common ground amongst fishers in order to move dialogue forward and deliver benefits to all.
The need for all our work programmes comes directly from the shop-floor of fisheries – these are services and products that the fishing industry itself has been calling for.
FitF is in the unique position of being able to provide a platform for coordination, enhanced collaboration and participation between the fishing industry and other sectors in order to address these and other issues and deliver lasting change for the UK fishing industry. We have a sustainability agenda, but this is driven by fishermen, not external agencies.
Ecological sustainability is a fundamental pre-requisite for robust and resilient fisheries. Genuinely sustainable fisheries make good business sense, delivering better value across society and for all involved.
We take a broad perspective on sustainability, however, believing that tightly-worded definitions can exclude some groups and appeal to others. We believe in placing the needs of future generations at the heart of all decisions in fisheries, whilst allowing current generations to thrive and prosper.
We are supported by a range of organisations, including Seafish, the International Sustainability Unit, and others…..we will also be building a membership-base and will be asking for donations or membership fees in the fullness of time, once our work programmes are fully established and the value of our organisation is clear.
We manage projects in partnership with others, applying for project funds from various fund-holders directly.
You can support us by becoming a member, signing up to our newsletter, attending FitF events, following us on social media and encouraging your colleagues and peers to do the same. Membership is free at the moment.
We will be supporting fishermen with various initiatives that help you:
Please phone us, email us, or message us on Facebook or Twitter
You can apply to be a member here. You can also subscribe to our Fisheries Innovation Newsletter. We are building a community of interested people so please stick around.