Fish & Fisheries News

Wednesday May 31, 2023

Fishing into the Future: Fishermen facilitated workshops bridge connections between industry and researchers

Fishing into the Future is playing a pivotal role in a social research project providing industry guidance, communications support, and fishermen facilitators to build trust and bridge connections between industry and academia.

The industry-led charity and long term partner of our Fisheries Charitable Trust, Fishing into the Future (FITF), are working alongside industry to design a Commercial Fisheries Social Survey, which will will collect data on health and wellbeing, cultural identity, community, traditions, and values amongst fishers. The survey will be led by the Countryside and Community Research Institute (CCRI) at the University of Gloucestershire and is funded by DEFRA. Industry stakeholders will have an opportunity to say what they feel needs to be included in the survey. Fishing into the Future are helping CCRI to directly reach members of the catch sector. This includes online and in-person workshops at fishing ports, held between March and May 2023.

Emma Plotnek, FITF Executive Director said:

“We have many experienced, forward-thinking people on our Trusteeship, so we are very well positioned to play a supporting role to communicate, provide advice and build trust and connections in projects such as this one. In particular, being able to have fishermen from our Board of Trustees facilitating and actively participating in the workshops has been so valuable to the work.

Participants see a member of their local industry vouching for the credibility of this work, and are able to keep the jargon to a minimum helping to bridge gaps in understanding between industry and the researchers, and vice versa.  

When the team at the University of Gloucestershire asked us to be involved in the co-design process, we saw this as a fantastic opportunity to support the advancement of industry, researchers and policymakers towards co-management.  It’s well known that social data is scarce in the fishing industry, so we want to encourage meaningful research that could potentially inform future fisheries management and capture the social situation within the industry and how it changes over time.”

More information on the project can be viewed on the Fishing Porthole Website. If you would like to get involved with the charity you can visit the website, follow them on social media or contact the FITF Executive Director, Emma Plotnek, for more information.


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