Fishermen's group pledges to remain dynamic and independent –

Fishermen’s group pledges to remain dynamic and independent Published:  31 December, 2012

THE National Federation of Fishermen’s Organisations has pledged to continue as an active, welcoming dynamic organisation, dedicated to protecting the interests of its members and fishermen in general.

In a New Year message the NFFO speaks of its diversity where vessel sizes range from 60 metres to under 10 metres in length fishing many different species in many different sea areas using many different gears.

“How is it possible to align all these different interests and forge coherent policies within a single national organisation? ” asks the NFFO.

“What makes this apparent disadvantage a strength, is mutuality, which essentially means, ‘I will cover your back and when the time comes you cover mine’.

“This approach is at the heart of the NFFO and has repeatedly stood us in good stead in difficult times. Issues arise which have an impact on part of our membership and those affected have the backing of the whole of the NFFO -because next time it will be a different part of the fleet that needs similar support. Organisations which deal with the world as they would like it to be, rather than how it is tend, after a short time, to lose impetus and faded away.”

The NFFO said that from its origins in 1977 it has been committed to dealing with political and biological realities. Where fish stocks are shared with other countries, ways must be found to jointly manage those stocks. Fisheries management issues should be dealt with on the basis of realities, rather than assertion, inflated claims and dodgy statistics. It had stuck to firm evidence, avoiding wild conspiracy theories and exaggerations.

The NFFO said it had taken the view from the outlet that if it is to maintain its independence and integrity, it must be self-financing, either through membership subscription, or through what it can earn through its services company. Over-reliance on government or charitable foundation grants could only lead, over time, to a dilution of independence. But strict principle does not preclude many different kinds of collaboration with a wide range of groups and organisations which shared its aims either. It had a proud record of working with scientists and other fishing groups.

The message ends: “So, mutuality, realism and self-reliance. It is unlikely that the NFFO will drift far from these principles in the future. For those in the fishing industry who can subscribe to them, the NFFO will be found to be an active, dynamic, and welcoming organisation.”