We will coordinate and facilitate a Fisheries Innovation Network (F.I.N.) for the UK in order to improve the engagement in and solutions proposed for issues such as ‘fully documented fisheries’. This network will be driven by groups of fishers, entrepreneurs and other stakeholders working together to address and find answers to sustainability.
Answers found will improve the prosperity and viability of the fisheries in the long-term. Knowledge gained is shared internally within the group and with the outside world, independent from advocacy and politics. The network will be facilitated by experts from within the wider Fishing into the Future support network; we will build capacity in this area by training volunteers in suitable facilitation techniques as a matter of course.
We expect that the F.I.N. to contribute towards reducing impacts on the marine environment by finding low-impact solutions to the questions and challenges posed by sustainability. It will do this through shared and collective actions that are supported by enhanced engagement opportunities for fishers to exchange knowledge and build understanding. This will allow fisheries in the UK to meet their legislative and policy obligations by harnessing the collective experience, ingenuity and resourcefulness of all involved in the fishing industry in order to deliver sustainable fisheries that reduce their impacts on the marine environment as a whole.
Fishing is the same as many other industries – it is a business, and fishers are its risk-taking entrepreneurs: they need to move towards the point of optimum efficiency.
We will build this network in collaboration and consultation with other organisations across the UK and EU in order to embed the FIN firmly within a wider context and to maximise the opportunities encountered. We will, for example, forge strong partnerships with the Knowledge Circles (Fisheries) in Holland, and Fisheries Innovation Scotland (FIS) with whom we already have close links.
This will be a national network, but retain local-input through the development and support of number of smaller regional groups based on the social capital of existing groups (such as Coastal Partnerships), or other suitable networks. These smaller groups will feed in to the whole network, and will be supported by project management from within Fishing into the Future, communication resources such as the Fisheries Innovation Newsletter, Facebook page and other social media. This will help to establish closer connections between different fishery sectors and geographical areas.