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Taking account of the Company’s original long history as an association of fishmongers; its right under Royal Charters to inspect fish sold in London and to see whether or not they are “wholesome for man’s body”; and its powers under the Salmon and Freshwaters Fisheries Act 1975 and other legislation; the Fishmongers’ Company continues to see work on fish and fisheries as central to its purposes.

Its aim in this regard is:

to promote a healthy, prosperous and sustainable fish and fisheries sector for the long-term benefit of the United Kingdom.

The Company seeks to advance this objective in various ways, including:

  • encouraging the development of a thriving retail fish sector, with special focus on the key role of supermarkets, notably through the educational work mentioned below, and seeking to identify ways of generating revenue to support the Company’s work in the sector;
  • helping to stimulate consumer demand for fish by educational and promotional activities, including promulgation of information about the benefits to health of eating seafood;
  • helping to promote a rational, science-based debate about sustainable fisheries, both marine and freshwater, and aquaculture, encouraging fishermen, suppliers and consumers to take a responsible approach and recognising the achievements of those who have contributed to the sustainability of fisheries and the conservation of rivers and the marine habitat;
  • conducting inspections at Billingsgate Market, condemning poor quality fish and providing advice and support to merchants, customers and the port and local authorities’ environmental health inspectors;
  • supporting certain charities or other organisations making valuable contributions in the fish and fisheries sector, including the Shellfish Association of Great Britain, the Salmon & Trout Association, the Atlantic Salmon Trust, the Rivers and Fisheries Trusts (Scotland) the Association of Salmon and Fisheries Boards (Scotland), the Billingsgate Seafood Training School, while encouraging them to move towards self-reliance, especially for core costs;
  • influencing Government policy in a non-political way, notably by contributing independent expertise to government consultation exercises regarding the sector, including on matters concerning the European Union’s Common Fisheries Policy, acting in partnership with other bodies where appropriate and effective; and contributing to industry initiatives and coordination, eg Seafish Advisory Working Groups;
  • supporting academic institutions and postgraduate students working on valuable fish and fisheries-related research;
  • acting as a facilitator for rational debate, providing a forum for such debate aimed at overcoming difference of view on matters affecting the sector and where possible drawing together disparate organisations in pursuit of common objectives.