Many of us remember buying freshly caught fish locally - but that's not so common these days. Our Members learnt about some of the reasons for this from John Nichols, Vice Chairman of the Kent and Essex Inshore Fisheries and Conservation Authority.
It was a great pleasure to welcome John to our meeting. John, who is also Chairman of the Thanet Fishermen's Association, regularly gives talks on a number of topics related to the fishing industry.
John has been associated with boats and fishing for a long time. In his detailed talk, John described how the local fishing industry has changed quite dramatically during his lifetime, and how things have become more challenging for fishermen. Once, there were many large vessels involved in fishing based in Folkestone, Ramsgate, Whitstable etc. Now, most of these have gone and only a few of the old fishing families remain. We learned that there are many factors behind this decimation to do wih quotas, staffing, fish species and other factors.
John also talked briefly about conservation. Finally, he encouraged us to support our fisherman and told us about the "fish local" campaign website (https://fishlocal.org/) which allows fishermen to sell direct to the public.
John's talk - which added to a set of events and actvities organised by our President this year around the teme of "the food we eat" - ended with many questions from the audience, a vote of thanks, and a warm round of applause. We know our members will think twice about the fish they purchase in future.