This new charity will serve to showcase what fisheries and fishermen can achieve when shared ambition and a pioneering spirit deliver benefits across the whole of society.
Fishing into the Future is led by a Board of Trustees, comprised of 18 dedicated fishing industry members, representing all fishing sectors in UK fisheries from small inshore fishers to large pelagic trawlers.
Alan Steer, Chairman of Fishing into the Future, commented: “Fishing into the Future will be promoting leaders and leadership from within the fishing industry itself in order to reverse the decline in the public image of fishermen and tackle some of the industry's problems as they strive towards sustainable fisheries for all our benefits. This new charity will serve to showcase what can be achieved when shared ambition and a pioneering spirit can deliver benefits across the whole of society from fisheries and fish stocks that face an uncertain future”.
Catalyzed by the Prince of Wales’ International Sustainability Unit in collaboration with Seafish and the Gulf of Maine Research Institute, Fishing into the Future was borne from an inspiring workshop with over 100 people in attendance in Brixham, Devon, in the summer of 2013.
For the first time at such a scale, a room dominated by active fishermen and their representatives rubbed shoulders with fisheries managers, policy-makers, NGOs, scientists and others to discuss what issues were of most concern to the fishing industry at the present time. From these discussions, the value of sustainability to fishers and our society as a whole became clear.
Fishing into the Future will focus initially on supporting the transition to both sustainable and profitable fisheries across all sectors, through an engaging and inspiring range of projects and products. One of the first projects will be the piloting of a flagship training programme that seeks to provide fishers with the knowledge to engage in the debate and practical development of sustainable fisheries, and finding ways whereby the fishing industry can contribute to fisheries data collection and enhance our understanding of the seas, leveraging the critical insights of those who spend their every day on the water.
Jim Masters, recently appointed Executive Director of Fishing into the Future, said: “This is wonderful news for all those involved in the UK fishing industry. Our seas have a huge potential to deliver benefits for society as a whole. Environmentally sound and financially viable fisheries must take their place at the heart of this. Sustainable fisheries are possible, they make economic and environmental sense, but sustainable fisheries need sustainable fishermen, who will benefit from the work of this new Charity".
Fishing into the Future’s mission is to bring the issues of sustainability in fisheries to life in a number of ways, and raising the profile of those within the industry who have moved practice within the fishing community forward. By promoting leaders and leadership from within the fishing industry, Fishing into the Future will reverse the decline in the public image of fishermen, as they strive towards sustainable fisheries for everyone’s benefit.
What began as an industry-led initiative to bring together fishermen, scientists, government, training and environmental groups to share best practise is now a Charitable Incorporated Organisation, and continues to be supported by Seafish, the Prince of Wale’s International Sustainability Unit (ISU) and the Gulf of Maine Research Institute.
More information is available at www.fishingintothefuture.co.uk