View Full Version : Sole traders certified

Davie Tait
17th August 2012, 17:17

Friday, 17 August 2012 10:00

THE Dover sole fleet from the Sussex town of Hastings has been re-certified by the MSC.

The town’s Dover sole trammel net, gill net and trawl fisheries all achieved recognition after Intertek Moody Marine reported that the fisheries create no negative effect on target stocks or the wider ecosystem and are efficiently managed.

Matt Watson, MSC’s English Fisheries Outreach Officer, says: “It is fantastic to hear that the Hastings Fleet has been re-certified. Hastings is the only MSC certified Dover sole fishery in the UK which shows the dedication of these fishermen to supplying sustainably caught fish. The fishermen of Hastings today are very versatile, and through adapting their fishing gear to changes in condition and availability they are able to function very efficiently.”

Councillor Peter Chowney, of Hastings Borough Council, says: “This is another tremendous endorsement of our town's produce, made all the more valuable by the fact that it comes from an independent source. It's a testament to Hastings' growing reputation for sustainability."

Hastings has a traditional beach-launched fleet and operates around 30 boats. The fleet is small-scale but it produces high value catches and generates local employment. It is also one of Britain’s oldest fishing ports, with many fishermen tracing family traditions back five generations and records of fishing as far back as the Norman conquest.

Hastings fisheries operate seasonally using all three different methods—trammel nets, gill nets and trawls. Both gill and trammel nets are static and entangle fish that swim into them, however, unlike the single layer gill nets, trammels have three layers. The outer two are coarse mesh, which the fish swim through, and the loose inner layer is a fine mesh that entangles the fish. This can allow the fishermen to be more selective in the fish they catch.