What do you need to know?

Below are our frequently asked questions. If your questions are not covered below, please contact us directly and we will be happy to talk to you further about Fishing into the Future.

Who are Fishing into the Future?

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.

How did you start?

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.

What are your mission and objectives?

We have three Higher Level Objectives:

  •     Support sustainability
  •     Promote innovation
  •     Build prosperity

We want to see:

  •     Robust fisheries with a long-term outlook
  •     Reduced impacts on the marine environment
  •     Resilient and thriving fishing communities

Where does your need come from?

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:

  1.     Sustainability and prosperity through training
  2.     Science and industry collaboration
  3.     Fisheries management and innovation
  4.     Rewarding good practice
  5.     Engaging stakeholders and consumers

These themes now underpin our work programmes and project plans.

What sort of things are you hoping to do?

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.

We will:

  • Improve the knowledge, understanding and uptake of initiatives such as Fully Documented Fisheries amongst the fishing industry and communities by supporting the development and communication of good practice in the fishing industry
  • Build the capacity of fishers to engage with fisheries science, assessment and management for sustainability by developing training programmes that address significant gaps in knowledge for skippers – fostering better stewardship of the seas and adherence to management regimes
  • Leverage the experience and knowledge of fishers themselves to deliver better policy, decisions and management – with stronger buy-in across the board by facilitating and coordinating communication and collaboration towards sustainable, innovative and prosperous fisheries
  • Support innovation in the fishing industry as a pre-requisite for delivering sustainable and low-impact practices across all sectors by establishing a Fisheries Innovation Network that challenges old ideas and establishes new thinking in the industry as a whole

What are the main areas of focus for your charity?

  •     Building the capacity of fishers to engage with sustainability issues, practices and challenges (read more)
  •     Improving contributions of fishers to fisheries science and assessment to establish better management regimes for UK fisheries (read more)
  •     Providing enhanced engagement opportunities for fishers to share knowledge and leverage their experience (read more)
  •     Raising awareness for and promote good practice (read more)
  •     Supporting fishers to align their fishing businesses with good practice (read more)

Who decides what you do?

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:

  1. Sustainability and prosperity through training
  2. Science and industry collaboration
  3. Fisheries management and innovation
  4. Rewarding good practice
  5. Engaging stakeholders and consumers

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.

Aren’t you just a Fishermen’s Organisation or Association?

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.

Will you lobby for specific things?

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.

What makes you different?

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.

What is your view on sustainability?

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.

How are you supported?

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.

How can I support Fishing into the Future?

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.

How can you help me as a fisherman?

We will be supporting fishermen with various initiatives that help you:

  • Understand the science, biology and assessment of sustainable fisheries
  • Contribute to building a better understanding of fisheries with your knowledge playing a key role
  • Participate in better managed fisheries
  • Share ideas and find out about the fishing industry in other parts of the UK
  • Find out about good practice, financial support and leaders for sustainability in your area

How can I contact you with my ideas?

Please phone us, email us, or message us on Facebook or Twitter

How do I become a member?

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.