Fishing is a way of life, run through with craft, skill and tradition. The dangers are well-documented, the returns uncertain, the history rich and the graft sky-high.
Fishermen have a huge amount of skill that spans managing a boat, seeking out fish, firing gear, safely bringing in catches and navigating a life on the water. It takes decades to build up the experience that creates success out at sea, and huge investment in fishing boats and equipment.It is also influenced by many things - the vagaries of the weather, wildlife shoaling behaviours, the activities of other fishing vessels and now the giant curve-ball that is climate change which exacerbates the lot. This multitude of moving parts takes fishing from a highly unpredictable enterprise to one where, on paper, the business case looks increasingly flimsy.
That was before Covid. A couple of years of lockdowns and restaurant closures has made the other end of the supply chain, the customers themselves, as unstable as the fishing. This year there has also been almost relentlessly bad winter weather. Storm after storm has made for one of the most challenging starts to the year on record.
And just when we all thought the world would return to some sort of normality, we have Russia invading Ukraine. As everyone can see, the ramifications of recent catastrophic events are being felt everywhere, but mostly by the people of Ukraine whose country is being ravaged - I cannot imagine what they are enduring and our hearts go out to them.
Closer to home the ripple effects can also be devastating. The most immediate impact for our fishermen is that diesel has doubled in price. For some, this might well be the last straw. Heading out to fishing grounds or to check crab and lobster pots is now untenable for many as the risk of no return is too great, pulling them into greater and greater debt.
Despite these monumental challenges, our commitment to sourcing sustainable British seafood and supporting our wonderful fishing communities is stronger than ever. I am also confident that with your amazing ongoing support, we will all get through together. You, our customers, were amazing through the toughest times of Covid, and we remain forever grateful for that. Our commitment to British fishermen is undiminished, and we hope that you will again help us help them - we are so thankful for your support for what we do and for supporting our local fishing communities in these wildly uncertain times.
Fishing is not just a job, it is a way of life, a craft that runs deep into every part of everyday life. Our Cornish fishing communities in particular rely heavily on their income from the sea, as it is a significant part of the rural economy. Here at Fish For Thought we are hugely proud of our place in that picture, and how we connect the coasts of Cornwall with you, our customers across the UK, so everyone can enjoy truly splendid fish, super-fresh, from globally acclaimed sustainable fisheries. We hope that you will continue to shop with us, so that we can continue to support these fishermen and help them protect the seas that we all love as much as they do.
Paul & the Fish For Thought team