Fleet diversity

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Jane Sandell, Chief Executive of UK Fisheries, tells us why fleet diversity is one of the British fleet’s greatest strengths.

As part of its regular schedule of meetings, the executive committee of the NFFO met aboard the Kirkella, our 86m vessel, while it was docked in Grimsby in early March. One of the most advanced fishing vessels currently operating as part of the British fleet, the Kirkella shows the commitment of the British fishing industry as a whole to embrace innovation in an effort to become ever more sustainable.

However, the greatest strength of our nation’s fleet lies with its diversity. Technological progress is working extremely well, and is right to be commended, but we should not forget about the breadth of vessels that ply their trade at sea. While we have large advanced boats, 5,026 of the 6,383 vessels that make up the British fleet are 10 metres and under.

The sector relies on this mix of vessels to catch the incredible variety of seafood that we enjoy in the UK. Small boats cannot venture to far off fishing grounds to catch and freeze large hauls of cod, just as the larger boats aren’t suited to catching low volume but highly prized species close to shore.

It’s fantastic to see the effort that all fishermen have put in to ensure stocks are healthy, and it’s incredibly rewarding to see much of the latest science proving their efforts have been worthwhile. This has been achieved through the hard work and determination of fishermen across the entire industry, and their success deserves to be celebrated.

To see how the Kirkella fishes sustainably while contributing to the onshore seafood industry watch the video below: