Hastings fishing fleet is a small-scale beach launched fleet predominantly made up of boats under ten metres in length. The fishing techniques are generally selective. It is a mixed fishery, but the main species caught are cod, skate, plaice and sole. Hastings consists of 16 wards and the fishing fleet is based in Old Hastings.
The 2015 Index of Multiple Deprivation ranked Hastings as the 20th most deprived local authority area in England. Many fishermen live in the neighbouring wards of Tressel and Ore which are amongst the most deprived in the country, so it is important to focus on community led development with a bottom-up approach.
Within the Hastings borough, there are eight designated nature reserves including Hastings Country Park Local Nature reserve (345 hectares) which borders the fishing beach. Hastings Cliffs are a designated site of Special Area of Conservation.
The FLAG strategy seeks to create a sustainable fleet and supply chain, protect the environment and the fleet through business and scientific research and develop the identity of ‘the place’ through education, economic and brand development. Through these themes, it is hoped to create new jobs, secure existing jobs and increase net profits directly relating to the industry.
Proposed ideas include:
The call for projects is on an ongoing basis. Information is available on the FLAG website.
The FLAG has experience in seafood tourism and education through events such as fish festivals and the setting up of a cookery school. The last FLAG period also saw a boat building restoration project, work with young people and improved infrastructure. The FLAG is willing to share all of this experience.
They are particularly interested in cooperation in aquaculture.
The FLAG membership includes individual fishermen, a fishermen’s association, a fish market representative, a charity; Hastings Voluntary Action, a Councillor (local authority) the Hastings Fishermen’s Protection Society, Jerwood Gallery, Hastings Voluntary Action, the RNLI, the University of Brighton, MMO, Hastings Fish market Enterprise, Shipwreck Heritage Museum, Education Futures Trust, Hastings Fishermen’s Museum, IFCA, Billingsgate Seafood Training, Rock- a- Nore Fisheries (Fish mongers), East Hastings Sea Angling Association and the Old Town Preservation Society.