The 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.
FITF is a UK registered charity, formed by a strategic partnership between: the Prince of Wales’ Charities ‘International Sustainability Unit’ (ISU); industry body, Sea Fish Authority (Seafish); and the Gulf of Maine Research Institute (GMRI). Since becoming established in 2015, the charity has maintained a Board Membership of two-thirds active fishermen. FITF value fishermen as key assets in ensuring the long-term health of fisheries and heavily endorse co-management as a principle of good fisheries management. FITF help to resolve the ‘cultural barriers’ to co-management by connecting and empowering stakeholders through a creative and innovative education and leadership programme.
Using our trusted networks, FITF and the FCFCT will work together 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, we 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, our collective aim 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, we will also plan to use FITF to support regional and gear/species-specific meetings, workshops, and symposiums. We would also like to explore radical opportunities for participation in co-management and would like to embed the FITF curriculum into early career development programmes.
Improving regular communication between stakeholders will also be fundamental if we are to help tackle the trust issues that exist in the industry. Our intention is to therefore devise and deliver sustainable solutions to help communication pathways. Current restrictions will, in the interim, focus the FITF portfolio on building relationships and knowledge remotely through an online portal and series of webinars.