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London 2012 Olympic Torch

The Stade - Award Winning Fisheries

Hastings has had a fishing fleet since before the Battle of Hastings in 1066.  For over a thousand years small boats have been leaving the shores of our town to cast their nets for fish, and those traditional fishing methods have changed little over the years.  In 2005 the fishing fleet's sustainability was recognised by the Marine Stewardship Council), when it was awarded MSC certification for its Dover sole, and mackerel and herring, fisheries.

This means the fisheries have met the strict Marine Stewardship Council requirements:

  • the fish stocks it is targeting must be at healthy, sustainable levels
  • the fishery must be effectively managed
  • the methods used to catch the fish must not damage the environment 

All MSC fish landed at Hastings have been caught using static nets, which is an eco-friendly method.  The two Hastings fisheries were the 5th and 6th in the UK to receive the award.  Our certified fisheries are amongst 23 worldwide (as of October 2007), and we're the only town that can boast two fisheries catching MSC certified seafood, so this is a special achievement for Hastings.

Only MSC certified fish can be sold displaying the MSC's distinctive blue eco-label. When you buy fish with this logo, you can be assured that it has been caught in an environmentally-responsible way.

Businesses from far and wide are now queuing up to buy Hastings' sustainable fish.  To find out where you can buy MSC fish, visit the MSC website.

Every year Hastings shows off its first-class fish at the annual Seafood and Wine Festival in late September.  The festival is centred on the historic fishing beach, or 'Stade'.  Feast on mouthwatering seafood dishes cooked up by local chefs, try luscious local wines, and enjoy free entertainment.  There's no better way to get a flavour of Hastings' lively and creative food and music scene.

The Certification Process

An independent, approved certification body assesses fisheries before they can achieve MSC certification; Moody Marine Ltd assessed the Hastings fleet.  The process began in October 2003; with the certificate being presented in September 2005.  The certification is valid for five years from the date of issue, and the fishery has to undergo an annual audit to ensure compliance.

More about the Marine Stewardship Council

The Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) is an independent, global, non-profit organisation, which was established in 1997 by the World Wildlife Fund and Unilever, the world's largest buyer of seafood.  In a bid to solve the problem of overfishing, the MSC is seeking to harness consumer purchasing power to generate change and promote environmentally-responsible stewardship of the world's seafood stocks.

The MSC Standard is the only internationally-recognised environmental standard for sustainable and well-managed fisheries.  The MSC logo is used as a product eco-label to reward these fisheries.  The idea is to allow increasingly environmentally-concious consumers to choose seafood products that have been independently assessed against the MSC standard, and labelled to prove it.  The MSC logo assures consumers that the product has not contributed to the problem of over-fishing, or damage to the environment.

Places to See

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Carr Taylor Vineyard

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