Fishing into the Future (FITF) is piloting a series of topical, industry-led discussions, open to fishermen and people working in the fishing and seafood industry. The fishermen-led charity’s aim is to support fishers across the UK to learn more about the issues affecting their businesses and connect with key people supporting the fishing industry.
These informal conversations, hosted online by fishermen on the FITF Board of Trustees, encourage participation within a fishermen-led space, and invite experts on different topics to share knowledge and create a conversation.
‘We are delighted over how good these have been. They are boosting confidence and putting fishermen in direct contact with people who can support them. The value of these conversations speaks for itself, as we have already seen some of the attendees have their writing published in the news,’ said FITF’s Vice-Chair, Adrian Bartlett.
A pilot event was held in February with Fishing News editor Andy Read and communications agency Mindfully Wired, focused on getting fishermen’s stories into the press. The conversation explored using the press to the industry’s advantage and advice on how to capture the audience’s attention.
Following the success of the pilot event, two further events were held; one on accessing funding, with the fishing animateurs, and more recently they were joined by Barrie Deas (NFFO) Mike Park (SWFPA) and Jerry Percy (NUTFA) to discuss what the Joint Fisheries Statement means for the industry. FITF is organising a further series of conversations based on suggested topics.
‘The Covid shutdown has at least taught us all how we can link up online, on a variety of different platforms, and support and mentor each other. This can be particularly useful for younger people in the industry in remote fishing communities, to meet and learn from others in similar circumstances,’ commented FITF executive director, Emma Plotnek.
‘We understand everyone is busy, so we tailor each session to what gets suggested. Presentations are brief and to the point, leaving ample time for fisherman-facilitated dialogue in a friendly and informal space. The fact we have already seen positive results come from these discussions has been very rewarding and gives an appetite to do more. We have had quite a few people reach out to suggest discussions topics and we are confirming upcoming conversations on the Sentience Bill and its impact on shellfish fisheries and processing, as well as requests for discussions on IVMS and the role of IFCAs in England.’
Events are available to watch on the FITF YouTube channel, however, only the presentation is shared publicly, to ensure people joining the discussion can speak candidly and with confidence.
To suggest a topic or join the next event, follow FITF on social media or contact FITF executive director Emma Plotnek for more information.