The National Federation of Fishermen’s Organisations has announced the election of both a new Chairperson and a change of role for the previous incumbent.
Andrew Locker has moved into the NFFO hotseat as Chairman of the NFFO, and Andrew Pascoe has been elevated from the Chairman’s role to become President of the NFFO.
This brings to an end Tony Delahunty’s six-year spell as Chairman and President respectively, and even though he has stepped aside from the President’s role but will remain closely tied into the Federation’s top team.
Andrew Pascoe, incoming President, said in his remarks to the NFFO Annual General Meeting held recently:
“On behalf of the Federation, I would like to thank Tony for his selfless work on behalf of the NFFO over the last six years. In these turbulent times, I think that we have all appreciated his calm, drama-free approach and solid wisdom. I am sure that I speak for us all when I say we all hope that the end of Tony’s period as President, will not mean any disengagement from the Federation’s work. To put it plainly we need the kind of experience and wisdom that Tony has brought to the NFFO. That kind of experience and the insights that it brings is not easily replaced.”
In response, the outgoing President remarked:
“COVID has forced this scaled down meeting on us, so we have not been able to invite Minister or senior officials to our AGM this year. But there are alternative ways to engage with ministers and officials at the points where it makes sense, and the Federation has certainly been doing that this year. My judgement is that, if anything, the level of engagement between the NFFO and senior levels of government is as intense and strong as it has ever been.
“The work that has been done on the Fisheries Bill is a good example of where our interventions have had a powerful effect, and as this sets the legal framework for managing our fisheries for the next 20 or even 40 years, this is highly significant.
“I have been your Chairman for two years and President for three years and I am truly grateful your trust and confidence in me over that period.
“The last five years have been one of mixed fortunes for our industry:
“Stocks have increased; the trends are good, and this has been reflected in the science
“The poorly drafted EU landing obligation has unexpectedly generated many problems and requires a fundamental rethink
“Cod and bass have bucked the stock trends, bringing complexities in the management of mixed fisheries and frustrations for our members
“The EU referendum has provided an escape route from the CFP and we have embraced that with both arms
“I want to mention two specific areas in which the Federation’s influence has given rise two important initiatives:
The Future of Inshore Fishing
The Shellfish Industry Advisory Groups
“Both of these are important developments, but they are only at the beginning of their potential, and there is no disguising the work that will be required to make them a success
“Finally, I would like to thank all of you for your support, guidance and good humour as we have navigated our way through the complex world that we work in.
“That concludes my opening remarks. Hopefully next year’s AGM will get back to some king of normality.”
In his final act as outgoing Chairman, Andrew Pascoe said:
“Turning to my annual report, I am grateful to those in the office who have put together the summary that you all have before you. This will go on the NFFO website and hopefully it gives a flavour of the Federation’s work over the last 12 months or so.
“I would especially like to highlight a couple of themes:
“The Federation’s role in addressing the challenges that arose from the Covid Pandemic, the lockdown and the Government’s support measures, gave the clearest evidence of why as an industry we need a strong and effective voice at national level. There was nothing automatic or easy about securing the tailored support package that was so important to so many fishing businesses, as out markets closed down or were seriously impaired. As was pointed out during our Executive Committee meeting, English processors have no national level trade association and they got nothing, unlike their equivalents in Scotland
“Secondly, I would like to say that whilst it is true that the political cards have fallen the fishing industry’s way recently, if we are to fully realise the dividends arising from the departure of the UK from the EU and the CFP, we will have to push all the way. There is no room for complacency. We need the NFFO to be active and influential in shaping the outcome of the negotiations with the EU, the first round of annual negotiations as an independent coastal state this autumn, and to build the new UK management regime in the new year and beyond. Put plainly, there is no other body that has the respect and clout.
“We need the NFFO to deliver for us. The decisions that will be made within government will affect our lives and businesses for years, possibly decades to come and this is the time when those crucial initial decisions will be made.”
A full version of the Chairman’s Report can be seen here.
Andrew Locker, will be formally confirmed as Chairman at the next meeting of the NFFO Executive but until then will be acting-Chairman.