Notes from an Evening with a Fisherman's Apprentice
|Monty Halls describes the one that got away...|
|Introducing Monty's apprenticeship "mentor" for the series, Jonathan Tonkin.|
|Q and A panel in discussion mode.|
MCS held its AGM with members on Wednesday 3rd October. The packed house in the room was largely down to having a main draw: TV presenter, marine biologist and longstanding MCS supporter Monty Halls, who demonstrated to the audience the ins and outs of life as an "apprentice" fisherman.
Promising from the start that his own views on fishing and the environment are not completely formed, with the message that "it's complicated!", Monty actually gave a really clear account of how his views have developed while making the series.
As a novice, spending six months with fishermen posed challenges, and while gaining acceptance amongst the subject of the programmes had been one of them, the most immediate was to get a film crew safely on board a small (under ten metre) boat. Whilst then attempting to practice fishing, Monty also chatted with a number of indivdual fishermen who operated diferent fishing gears both inshore, and further out to sea.
Monty is convinced that the fishermen he met have a strong leaning towards conserving local stocks, and, many of them, to the wider environment, too. He is also sure that, with genuine dialogue and involvement of fishers, the wider public's interest in sustainabilty can be turned into a reality that includes sustainable stock management and protection for special places. One solution Monty described is to set up local markets where fishermen can guarantee fixed incomes, while committing to supply sustainable options, as demonstrated by a comunity project he visited in the US.
|MCS Award winner Blaise Bullimore accepts his fish trophy, awarded for services to marine conservation in Wales.|
|Federica Squadrilli-Carr, MCS fundraiser of the year, who has tirelessly fundraised for MCS throughout the past year.|
This was explored in more detail afterwards, in a question and answer panel that involved Monty, MCS staff, and invited guest Jerry Percy (New Under Tens Fishermans Association) in which topics debated included how to influence overfishing issues internationally (consumer action, Europe's legislation, and opening dialogue amongst the answers), aquaculture as problem versus solution (feedstocks, husbandry issues, pollution impacts etc) and the need to involve fishers in local decision making.
MCS would like to thank Harbour and Jones for the fabulous food served to guests, which really made the event feel special.