Fishing into the Future encourage fishermen to join the discussion on fisheries management
Industry-led UK charity, Fishing into the Future (FITF), relaunches with an online event on Thursday 1st April 2021. The event aims to provide an opportunity for people working in UK fisheries to have their say on the future of UK fisheries management and will be chaired and facilitated by FITF trustees, who voluntarily support the charity while also running fishing businesses or working closely with the sector.
A year has passed since FITF was able to gather at London’s Docklands for their last residential event “Introduction to Sustainable Fishing”, but as the weather warms up and with better fishing ahead, the UK charity is taking an adapted approach by taking their events online.
FITF focuses on creating learning opportunities, encouraging collaboration, and providing a platform to enable effective dialogue and mutual understanding between the diverse set of people working in the fishing industry, science, and government. The event will focus on the future of fisheries management, as well as hearing some successful case studies of fisheries management and collaborative science from the UK and beyond. Guests will include Deputy Director of Domestic Fisheries and Reform, Anne Freeman, Alan Steer, Vice-Chair of the South Devon and Channel Shellfishermen, Gus Caslake Independent Chair of the Cornish Sardine Management Association (CSMA), and more.
David Stevens, Chairperson at FITF and Skipper of the Crystal Sea SS 118 gave an insight into the event topic, saying “The term co-management is trending throughout industry conversations, but we still have a way to go to understand what it really means for us. There are already numerous fisheries in the UK that integrate some of the positive attributes of this management style, but widespread co-management is not going to happen overnight, it is going to take time and effort to build trust and knowledge, and tangible milestones need to be set along the way – such as more industry-led data collection. Undoubtedly, we will make mistakes, it’s part of the process to ensure that the sector will endure, grow, and prosper.”
Commenting on why FITF decided to hold the event, FITF Programme Manager, Emma Plotnek, said: “It’s been a tough year since we held our last event, but we want to offer the sector a space for constructive discussion and learning, and at the same time encourage a representative pool of people from the industry to get involved and voice their opinion.”
The event will be held over zoom, FITF will also be piloting the opportunity for people to watch the event live on their Facebook page. For those participating, break out rooms hosted by FITF trustees will enable deeper discussions on relevant topics. If you want to get involved, you can follow the event on the FITF Facebook Page, or contact the FITF programme manager.
Fishing into the Future hires new Programme Manager
Thanks to additional funding from Seafarers UK, FITF has hired Fisheries and Seafood expert, Emma Plotnek, to lead their programme of work. Emma returns to the UK after gaining more than a decade of international experience working with coastal communities between Canada and Chilean Patagonia, on multidisciplinary projects focused on capture fisheries and the aquaculture sector.
Emma will be working with FITF’s Trustees to continue building on their education and leadership programme and peer-learning network – to create opportunities for fishermen, scientists and fisheries managers to come together, build trust, and find solutions based on collaborative approaches that incorporate a broad spectrum of knowledge and skills.
This work will help to better prepare the sector through the delivery events, webinars, and tailored workshops – as well as building digital resources, so the diverse stakeholders involved in the UK’s fishing sector can gain access to the skills, knowledge and connections they need to effectively participate in a range of management, science and business scenarios.
Due to the Covid-19 restrictions, the team at FITF will focus on building relationships and knowledge remotely through an online network and series of digital interventions and events, aiming to restart face to face activities in 2021.
The Fishmongers’ Company and Fishing into the Future form a Strategic Partnership
Fishmongers’ Company’s Fisheries Charitable Trust (FCFCT) is pleased to be joining forces with the charity Fishing into the Future (FITF) through a transition period from 2020 to 2022. The partnership will enable the fishing industry to develop leadership skills and a voice in co-management.
The FCFCT supports a wide range of projects, grants, and convening, to Build and safeguard a prosperous and sustainable fishing industry, for the benefit of those engaged in it, the environment, and our island nation. This partnership will form part of a wider engagement the FCFCT has with the UK fishing industry and FCFCT’s Fish & Fisheries team will be working closely with the FITF team.
FITF and FCFCT will use their trusted networks to engage with fishermen, scientists, government, and seafood businesses to help build a transdisciplinary approach to fishery management that emphasises the need for collaborative problem‐solving among stakeholders. As two neutral and independent organisations, they are trusted facilitators within the seafood industry and have the freedom to develop innovative solutions.
With financial support from the FCFCT and additional resource capacity from one of the FCFCT’s Programme Managers, Alison Freeman, the collective aim of the partnership is to build upon the FITF education programmes and improve access to the tools, information and training needed to bolster the fishing industry and coastal economies. A priority going forward will be to develop a supportive alumni network, which will offer ongoing support and training to the attendees of FITF initiatives. Under the new direction, FITF will also support regional and gear/species-specific meetings, workshops, and symposiums, as well as explore radical opportunities for participation in co-management and embed the FITF curriculum into early career development programmes.