A Look at International Fishing Communities
In Scotland we have a long history of fishing and busy coastal harbours. Without a doubt sea fishing has for generations sustained communities. This image of women and men working in Stornoway is testament to the visible benefit of fishing to coastal communities. Often fishing has provided rural and remote communities with the vital food, work and trade to keep populations in existence.
Many communities around the coast are aware of the potential of fisheries to support communities, however in many areas the coastal fleets and facilities are depleted. CIFA would like to turn this around. CIFA acknowledge the importance of sustainable fishing and seek to benchmark with sensible international fishing models. We hope to see the best practice elements adopted in a new fisheries management system.
The Azores - Tuna Fishing
In the Azores the migratory tuna fish, and are the same fish which pass by our coasts. In the Azores these tuna are fished and processed by the coast of the Atlantic Ocean.
The St Catarina factory is a success story for the fishery, for trade, for employability and for the community. The St Catarina operation is more than just a sustainable tuna factory; it’s a social project producing over 100 jobs for local women. They offer tours of the factory for visitors, where its possible to see workers hand-canning local Skipjack Tuna — all caught locally. Other local industries help provide complementary ingredients like olive oil, thyme, oregano and sweet potato.
The women are involved in hand-cleaning, hand-cutting and hand-canning the fish or cutting it into fillets. Machine-canned items are also sold at a lower price, and even these are a wonder to watch as the tins come down from the ceiling via conveyor belt. Much care, commitment and pride goes into the sustainable seafood produce which sustains local communities from the catching sector through to processing and marketing. This is a very clear example of a fishery our coastal communities do not currently pursue, but of a fishery which could sustain not only the fishing boats and trade, but also community jobs and tourism.