Fish scheme up for ethics award
The Catchbox scheme helps support local fishermen and ensure they get paid for their whole catch
The UK’s first “community supported fishery”, the cooperative Catchbox scheme, has been nominated for an Observer Ethical Award in the Big Idea category.
The awards, also known as the Green Oscars, acknowledge those contributing to a more sustainable world. For Catchbox, the nomination for the award is public recognition of its success.
Catchbox is run by the community for the community – it buys in fish from local fishermen with consumers signing up to receive a set weight in fish each week or fortnight.
Not only does the scheme help support local fishermen and ensure they get paid for their whole catch, it helps to promote local seafood to consumers and ensure they are eating responsibly sourced fish.
Jack Clarke, Catchbox co-ordinator, said to World Fishing & Aquaculture: “Catchbox supports responsibly sourced fish, the fish is caught by local fishermen with vessels under 10m and with static nets. The scheme helps the supply chain and facilitates the sale of fish for fishermen. But it also brings the local community together.”
The scheme is being piloted in Brighton and Chichester in the south coast of England and this initial pilot project was made possible by seed funding from Defra. Mr Clarke says that at the half way point there are 25 members in Chichester and 75 members in Brighton but there is still the opportunity for locals to get involved in the second part of the pilot
At the end of the 12 week pilot and after a subsequent trial in the Autumn, the scheme could be rolled out nationally.
To this end, Catchbox is currently in the process of electing a management committee which will takeover the running of the scheme and help co-ordinate the projects huge team of volunteers which organise pick ups and collections.