The inshore sector has been dealt a significant blow with the retirement of Sarah Ready (pictured above) from NUTFA. Sarah was well known for her support for individual fishermen facing multiple issues, from financial hardship to legal or practical challenges.

She worked as a volunteer throughout her time with NUTFA, doing this work alongside her support of the family fishing vessels working out of Brixham.

NUTFA director Jerry Percy told Fishing News: “Sarah worked tirelessly in support of very many fishermen with a range of issues who needed her knowledge and expertise to help them. Her legal training and membership of the LawWorks charity were instrumental in assisting fishermen with all sorts of challenges, from legal aspects through mental health to finance.

“Sarah’s retirement will undoubtedly be a case for the fleet of ‘you don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone’. The number of fishermen she helped, many at their wits’ end, was significant, her workrate phenomenal, and her tireless pursuit of justice and aid for those in need endless.

“She did all this on a purely voluntary basis and against a background of serious personal health issues, running her own family fishing business, developing an electric fishing boat, making wicker lobster pots and publicising the art at shows around the country – and so much more.

“It was I think the constant struggle to pursue and obtain sustainable funding for her support work that was the last straw, as so many of her cases required funds for external experts, court work, and travel and expenses in visiting fishermen and their dependents. I know she is particularly upset to have not secured even the minimal funds she needed to continue, despite pleas to many organisations and charities for support, forcing the closure of the very valuable national service and instigating her very reluctant early retirement.

“The inshore sector will be all the poorer for her leaving, and on a personal note, I could not possibly be more grateful for everything she has done for the organisation and for those who support it. She will be sorely missed.”

Whilst making it clear that she will be leaving this role in supporting the industry she is passionate about, Sarah will continue her work making and promoting the use of traditional withy pots – the standard crab pots around much of the UK coastline for centuries. A small cottage industry, supported by some restaurants who are marketing the catch taken in this traditional, low-impact gear, has sprung up in the South West, and we hope to report on it in detail in the future.

This story was taken from the latest issue of Fishing News. For more up-to-date and in-depth reports on the UK and Irish commercial fishing sector, subscribe to Fishing News here or buy the latest single issue for just £3.50 here

Sign up to Fishing News’ FREE e-newsletter here


Subscribe to Fishing News magazine today; never miss an issue and save 55%!