Fish for compliments
THE Clarence River Fishermen's Co-operative has been one of the most loyal supporters of the Causley Fresh Gate to Plate, the Clarence Valley food and wine festival of five events.
"Our fishing industry is one of the hardest games to be in as not only are you battling markets, you are battling weather and the seas," Gate to Plate committee member Gai Pritchett said.
"They deserve all the accolades we can bestow on them and our support."
Clarence River Fishermen's Co-operative general manager Danielle Adams said the business benefited from sponsoring the local event.
"It is important for us to showcase the local product and to raise awareness of the local companies and what they provide," she said.
"And it gives the locals a chance of tasting what we have on offer."
Ms Adams said the feedback after participating in past events had been fabulous and, more importantly, Gate to Plate was a way to bring the Clarence Valley together.
"Given the size of the region, it's always nice to have cohesion between up river and down river," she said.
Adopting a delicate balance between commercial fishing, community interest and the environment is a role that members of the Clarence River Fisherman's Co-operative take very seriously.
Sustainability is the first and foremost issue on the minds of commercial fishers, as their livelihoods are reliant on healthy fish stocks and healthy environments into the future.
Off-stream impacts can and do have a dramatic impact on habitat and fish populations
Without fish stocks there are no fisheries to manage.
Industry-driven initiatives like seasonal and permanent closures, improvements in nets, reduced effort and mandatory bycatch reduction devices are just some of the changes introduced and supported by industry.
Commercial fishing has been a part of NSW society since white settlement and continues today to play an important part of the social and economic fabric of communities along the coastline.
Professional fishers play an integral role by supplying sustainable wild harvest local seafood to the community.
Seafood from Clarence River Fishermen's Co-operative can be sourced in the region from the co-op shops on Yamba Rd at Yamba and at the Iluka Boat Harbour.
Of course it can also be sampled at various Gate to Plate events.