Fishing and Seafood

Fishing and SeafoodFishing and Seafood

In recent years the fishing industry has attracted a huge amount of media attention , much of the stories reported in the press have been for negative reasons and often rightly so. With big media campaigns such as Hugh’s Fish Fight many of us are becoming increasingly aware of the impacts that over fishing has had and the toll has taken on our marine environment, the issues surrounding by-catch, and the short falls in the common fisheries policy and it’s imminent reform.

Fishing and the fishing industry is an incredibly difficult sector to fully understand enough to pass judgment on. There are a variety of issues depending how it is being viewed, globally, nationally, locally all have very different impacts, all very different from one another.

Because of the complexity of the global issue surrounding fishing and the fishing industry Essex Wildlife Trust are currently focusing our efforts on understanding our local fishing industry and how we can work together to help each other understand the issues in our county.

It is because of this that the Essex Wildlife Trust support the sustainable harvesting of some locally caught or harvested marine species for food - this is a legitimate use of marine resources, providing employment opportunities and high-quality food.

At the same time, commercial fishing has been identified as one of the most significant pressures on the marine environment, leading to a reduction in fish stocks, and its associated impacts on the wider ecosystem and incidental damage to the seabed.

Essex Wildlife Trust believes that it is possible to have the best of both, by our continued learning and understanding of the pressures on the local environment from fishing, whilst also allowing ecosystems to recover, while continuing to provide a living for local fishermen.

We believe that fish-buying consumers care about the state of the seas and the people of Essex care about their marine environment. Given the right information, consumers can make choices which will encourage positive choices.

We want to give credit where fishermen are making an effort to minimise their environmental impact and to manage their stocks well. The Essex Wildlife Trust aims to identify well-managed, low-impact local fisheries, promote the sale of such seafood and encourage local retailers to stock it.