Meet the Team

By Fishermen : For Fishermen

Over two-thirds of our trustees are actively fishing – including owners of small and large fishing vessels, the rest of us are fisheries experts, including people working in the seafood supply chain, scientists, and economists.

Aside from one full-time Programme Manager, we depend on the enthusiasm and dedication of our Trustees who volunteer their time to support and guide our work in addition to their daily navigation of the fishing industry, which in turn makes us more relevant and serve the needs of the fishing sector.

CHAIR: David Stevens - Fisherman, Cornwall

David Stevens is the current Chairman of Fishing into the Future. He has been a fisherman for 30 years and is joint skipper with his brother of their family owned 24 metre fishing boat based in Newlyn, Cornwall. He has always had a keen interest in undertaking scientific work and has worked on many data gathering projects over the years, working with Seafish, Marine Management Organisation (MMO), the Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science (Cefas) and International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES). David looks forward to a future where scientists, industry and management collaborate for the long-term health of the fishery. David also sits on the FITF Executive Committee, providing more day to day guidance to the charity.

VICE CHAIR: Adrian Bartlett - Fisherman and Seafood trader, South Devon

Adrian Bartlett is curently acting as FITF Vice-Chair. He is from South Devon and started fishing in 1987, working his way up from deckhand to skipper on Crabbing boats or potters based in Kingswear, South Devon. Adrian has fished for Edible brown crabs, native lobster and other shellfish all around the UK coast but mainly built his crabbing career in the English Channel in the tidal waters North of Alderney (Channel Islands) on various boats and for various owners. After working in the industry for 28 years and being passionate about the UK Seafish Industry, an opportunity arose where he could share his knowledge and passion with the UK public and chefs to show how good UK Shellfish is to eat and how easy it is to pick a crab without fear, so Crabstock Shellfish Festival was born! Crabstock Festivals UK the UK's only inland seafood festival, Crabstock is about teaching people about the health benefits of eating Great British shellfish as well as the social and economic importance of supporting the country’s fishing industry. I fully believe that our shellfish is the best in the world and that we should do all that we can to keep all our wonderful, nutritious, sustainable shellfish on the menu. Crabstock is (also) a fantastic opportunity to engage local inland communities.” Since 2015 Adrian’s pop up shellfish Fruit-de-mer restaurant Crab’Stock & 2 Smoking Lobsters which is located at various food festivals around the UK is going from strength to strength, with more location happening on every year. Adrian is also a part of the Crabstock boys with Andy Hunting demoing shellfish and seafood simply Adrian preps and Andy makes some really simple shellfish and fish dishes. Adrian also sits on the FITF Executive Committee, providing more day to day guidance to the charity.

PROGRAMME MANAGER: Emma Plotnek - Fishing into the Future

Emma Plotnek is a marine scientist with a strong interest in sustainable seafood and furthering the essential role fishing communities play in taking care of the seas around us, while managing their businesses and contributing to food security. She has experience working with capture fisheries and in the aquaculture sector, enjoys time on farms and at sea, working closely with local communities and major industries involved in the seafood sector. Emma is keen to get involved in the UK sector after gaining almost a decade of experience abroad, taking her from Canada to Chilean Patagonia. Emma is now based in Dorset on the South Coast, taking on the role of Programme Manager within this dynamic team.

TRUSTEE: Jimmy Buchan - Retired Fisherman and Seafood Trader, Peterhead

James - better known within industry circles as Jimmy - has had a full and varied career across different sectors of the fishing industry. Leaving school in 1976, he started a career at sea and was Skipper and vessel owner within 10 years. Having fished the North Sea most of his career as a whitefish skipper and latterly concentrating on Nephrops. Jimmy then went on to build a seafood supply company focusing on quality and brand in both e-commerce and local supply chain. He served as a board member and Chairman of the Scottish Fishermen’s Organisation and served two terms on the Peterhead Port Authority board. Jimmy took up a new role as Chief Executive Officer at the Scottish Seafood Association in 2017 and has continued to serve the processing sector in an ever-changing landscape. Jimmy is a current serving Seafish board member and is passionate champion of the whole seafood supply chain.

TRUSTEE: Alexa Dayton - Chief Operating Officer, Maine Center Ventures at the University of Maine

Alexa Dayton built the Gulf of Maine Research Institute Marine Resource Education Programme – the flagship training programme for the GMRI. She now takes on the role of Chief Operating Officer at the Maine Center Ventures at the University of Maine. Alexa has been a leading member of the Fishing into the Future Executive Committee and a hugely valuable asset since the concept of FITF was first discussed in 2013. She has been instrumental in guiding the charity toward success and delivery in all areas, but she brings particular expertise in the area of Fisheries Education and encouraging collaboration across stakeholders. Alexa also sits on the FITF Executive Committee, providing more day to day guidance to the charity.

TRUSTEE: Alan Steer - Fisherman, Devon

Alan is a third-generation crab fisherman from the small fishing village of Beesands, Devon. He started fishing with his father whilst he was still at school and by the age of 14 he had 20 pots around the shore catching crab, lobster and spider crab. In 1997, his father retired and he took over the day to day running of the business and skippering the Superb-us. Alan has always had a strong passion for everything to do with the sea. When he is not out on the Superb-us working strings of crab pots, he is out on a small beach boat diving for scallops or rod and line fishing for Bass. He feels strongly about providing a long term sustainable future for generations to come - both environmentally and economically. His role in Fishing into the Future (FITF) started in January 2013 when he was invited by the International Sustainability Unit (ISU) to sit on the Steering group to develop the charity and he has previously served as FITF Chairman, and is also the Vice Chairman of South Devon & Channel Shellfishermen.

TRUSTEE: Michel Kaiser - Chief Scientist and Professor of Fisheries Conservation, Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh

Michel Kaiser is currently the Chief Scientist and Professor of Fisheries Conservation at Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh. Prior to joining Heriot-Watt University, he was the Science & Standards Director at the Marine Stewardship Council and he was the Professor of Marine Conservation Ecology at Bangor University for 20 years. His research interests focus on techniques to achieve sustainable use of marine resources while seeking to minimise impacts on the marine environment. He is best-known for his expertise on the ecosystem of fishing on the seabed, data poor fisheries and the use of spatial management measures to achieve conservation and fisheries objectives. Throughout his career has worked at the scientific interface between fisheries and conservation. He has extensive research collaborations with seafood industries in the UK and elsewhere. Michel currently holds a number of public appointments. He is a member of the IUCN-Fisheries Expert Group and is an independent Member of the UK Marine Science Coordination Committee, he is a trustee of Fishing Into The Future, he chairs the International Scientific Advisory Committee for the pulse-trawling project (Holland). Past roles include: independent board member of the UK Seafish Industry Authority from 2007-2105 and the Joint Nature Conservation Committee board from 2012-2017. He has authored over 200 peer-reviewed publications and has written or edited 5 books including Marine Fisheries Ecology and Marine Ecology: Processes Systems and Impacts. He co-convened the 6th World Fisheries Congress in 2012. He is the Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Fish Biology. Michel also sits on the FITF Executive Committee, providing more day to day guidance to the charity.

TRUSTEE: Mike Warner - Seafood Writer, Trader and Fisherman, Suffolk

Mike Warner Freelance food writer, fisheries journalist and sustainable seafood consultant. Mike writes on all aspects of the commercial UK fishing industry and travels the country talking to fishermen and producers about the native fish and shellfish landed to our ports. He then takes their stories and relays them in a consumer-facing way, to better educate, inform and enthuse chefs, restaurateurs, food service and media professionals and the general public. He writes technical, creative and PR copy for commercial fishing and food/lifestyle publications and is a regular features contributor to Country Life magazine. Mike has a particular interest in the Under 10 metre, inshore fishing fleet and its economic importance, heritage and sustainability in the communities that it supports. He also conducts bespoke tours for interested parties to fishing ports and markets around the UK, where they get to ’meet the fishermen’ and are shown the 'net to plate’ story and the work involved in the sustainable harvesting of our seas. His blog ‘A Passion for Seafood’ has twice been shortlisted for the Guild of Food Writers Best Food Blog in 2016/17. Mike is a Patron of the National Lobster Hatchery in Padstow, a Trustee of the charity Fishing Into The Future and Project and Business Development Manager for the Shellfish Association of Gt Britain. He is also an active member of the Guild of Food Writers.

TRUSTEE: Hazel Curtis - Director of Corporate Relations, Seafish

Hazel Curtis is Director of Corporate Relations at Seafish, and has worked at Seafish since 2000. Hazel led the Economics team until December 2018, contributing to many government and industry initiatives to help improve fisheries management and fleet efficiency. She developed a programme of economic data collection from the seafood industry and a programme of providing analysis, evidence and expert advice to inform business and government policy decisions. Seafish Economics work has included impact assessments of key policy proposals and management measures such as the Landing Obligation. Hazel has been a member of the European Commission’s Scientific, Technical and Economic Committee for Fisheries, providing official advice to the Commission, and from 2011 to 2015 was President of the European Association of Fisheries Economists. In 2016 Hazel was elected as a member of the Executive Committee of the International Institute of Fisheries Economics and Trade. Hazel also sits on the FITF Executive Committee, providing more day to day guidance to the charity.

TRUSTEE: Sean Dennison - Fisherman, Orkney

Sean Dennison is both an active fisherman from Orkney and previously served as the Vice-Chairman of Fishing into the Future. He runs a 12m ‘vivier’ crab boat and represents the Orkney Sustainable Fisheries Association. Sustainability has always been close to his heart as a fisherman. He fishes for brown crab, lobsters and velvet crabs.

TRUSTEE: Steve Mackinson - Senior Research Scientist, Scottish Pelagic Fishermen’s Association

Steve Mackinson began his career working with Canadian herring fishermen in the late 90s. It was then he realised that when science is not well connected with reality, there are missed opportunities for research and management. Ever since, Steve has taken a keen interest in building stronger collaboration among scientists, stakeholders and policy - so it was an exciting opportunity to join the SPFA in 2016 as their first Chief Scientific Officer. His current role is to bring industry data in to the scientific arena so that it can contribute to the knowledge base underpinning stock assessments and research on changes in the marine environment. It draws upon 17 years’ experience at Cefas working on fisheries acoustics, investigating changes in the North Sea food-web, ecosystem modelling and leading the EU-wide science-industry collaborative research projects GAP1 & 2 (www.gap2.eu). Steve has been involved with Fishing into the Future since its inception and is currently an essential member of the Executive Committee team.

TRUSTEE: Peter Bruce - Fisherman, Peterhead

Peter Bruce is a fishermen from Peterhead. He has been fishing in the North Sea for 43 years. Over 36 years has been spent as skipper of the Budding Rose PD284. His present vessel, Budding Rose PD418, was built in Campbeltown in 1990 . Peter has always championed and spoken up for the fishing industry in many different ways over the years. One of his proudest achievements was being voted as demersal fishermen of the year in 2017.

TRUSTEE: Glen Milligan - Fisherman, Portsmouth

Glen is the owner of Nicole-M, a small inshore commercial fishing boat from Portsmouth. He fishes the waters around the Isle of Wight, specialising in catching Sea Bass, using only rod and line methods following his strong conviction it is sustainable and low impact fishing method.

TRUSTEE: Gary Hodgson - Fish Processor, Yorkshire

Gary is the Director of Venture Seafoods, processing shellfish from the East Coast of England. He is dedicated to supplying shellfish but also passionate about actively ensuring the future of the fishing industry. Gary is the chairman of the shellfish committee of the National Fisherman's Federations Organisation (NFFO). He is also a director and founding member of the Holderness Fishing Industry Group, a not for profit organisation representing fishermen based along the Holderness Coast.