We catch up with Ghost Fishing UK, one of the 2022 winners of the Fishing News Awards…
Ghost Fishing UK, which aims to work collaboratively with the industry to help remove ghost gear, was named winner of The Sustainability Award at the 2022 Fishing News Awards.
Christine Grosart of Ghost Fishing UK told Fishing News that the win helped the organisation move forward with one of its key targets.
“As a charity we had a wish list when we set up,” said Christine. “One thing we always wanted to do was gain the trust of the fishing community, and work with it – that’s not easy as a conservation outfit.
“It’s always been our belief that if we want to reduce ghost gear, then you’ve got to work with the fishing community – there’s no other way of doing it. We’ve always tried, but it has always seemed to be a wall to climb.
“The opportunity to be at the Fishing News Awards in person was phenomenal, and to win was just unbelievable. It put us in the limelight with the fishing community. People then knew who we were, knew what our ethos is, and it’s just been incredible.
“We also had some surprise funding off the back of both the Fishing News Awards and the Scottish Skipper Expo, which just blew us away. We’re fully volunteer-led, nobody takes a salary at this charity, so we’re always humbled when things like that happen.”
Christine told FN that being at the awards gave the charity – which successfully recovered 1,840kg of ghost gear last year, as well as 45 creels, which were all returned to fishermen – a chance to engage with the industry.
“It gave us an opportunity that I don’t think we would have had otherwise. I think we would have still been staring at that insurmountable wall, if it hadn’t been for the Fishing News Awards. It was pretty amazing for us.”
Christine described the gala ceremony as ‘fantastic, absolutely fantastic’.
“It was beautifully done – the organisers didn’t miss a beat. It was extremely professional. The comedian was very good – very, very funny – and everyone loved the food. It was just a really nice atmosphere.”
The only problem was where to keep the prized Fishing News Awards trophy.
“Richard, our chairman, works away a lot – he’s a diving instructor and works all over the world. I work offshore. So we gave it to our third trustee, Fred Nunn, and it lives with him in Cornwall, along with our other trophies.”
Tickets for the evening, which can be bought singly or as tables of 10, are on sale now – book yours here.