Im a freelance food writer, specialising in all aspects of sustainable and responsibly-caught UK seafood and the fisheries that ensure its supply. Im fiercely passionate about the communities that the fishing industry supports and its impact on their local economy. I write articles, features and recipes for my blog: eastcoastavocet.com and Im a regular contributor to fishonfriday.org, The Skipper magazine and various other industry and consumer-facing publications. I ardently believe, that a huge disconnect still exists between lovers of seafood and the fishing industry. I strive to bridge that gap through creatively writing about how seafood is produced, but moreover how it can be enjoyed responsibly and healthily through education and the demonstration of its diversity. I do this by engaging with those who fish, across all sectors, learning from them and telling their stories, in a sympathetic and enthusiastic way, that not only lovers of fish and shellfish will enjoy, but that will also inspire those who are perhaps more reticent, to share the love of what is our last true wild, organic, protein source.
My connection with seafood
I grew up in coastal Suffolk and took great delight in exploring the life and environment of our local shore and shallow seas. My family were ardent seafood fans and we always ate local fish and shellfish seasonally. I crewed, in my holidays and at weekends, for a local fishermen friend of my father, longlining for cod and skate in the winter months and potting for lobster and crab from May to September. I also fished my own pots, from my dinghy and learned the associated skills of net making, pot building and inshore seamanship and boat maintenance.
Why sustainability is important to me
Sustainability is an oft used word. Yes, it does reflect the way in which fisheries are managed and how populations of fish and shellfish are commercially measured. However, it is also a benchmark for the socio-economic health, welfare and viability of the coastal communities that have been founded by and exist because of the fishing industry. I passionately believe that the modern integration of this industry into the local infrastructure of both urban and rural communities, reaches far wider than just than the food sector, and supports an array of businesses and trades that fuel their local economy. True sustainability should exist across the whole supply chain.