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Jersey Fish Festival Raises £12k for Charity

Date: 04/09/2009 | Posted by John Garton
The Jersey Fish Festival held in June to showcase the Island’s fishing industry and to celebrate maritime heritage and culture raised nearly £12,000 for local charities.

The festival was organised by the Jersey Fishermen’s Association and supported by Economic Development, Island organisations, the Genuine Jersey Products Association and businesses. Held over 12 hours on the Victoria Pier – home to the Island’s commercial fishing fleet – it attracted crowds of more than 5,000 Islanders and visitors who enjoyed a superb atmosphere of music, entertainment and local seafood.

Fishermen’s Association chairman Don Thompson said they were delighted to have raised £11,800 which would be split equally three ways between Channel Islands Air Search, the RNLI and the Variety Sailing Trust.

‘For the festival to have just broken even financially in the event’s first year would have been considered a success,’ he said. ‘However, to raise such a significant amount at a time when local charities are experiencing difficulties in raising funds is fantastic. All the fishermen who gave their time to organise the event to make it such a resounding success, are delighted to have raised £11,800 for organisations that do so much good for the community.  As professional fisherman we often work in extreme weather conditions so it is a comfort to know that organisation such as the RNLI and CI Air Search are always on duty ready to help should the need arise.’

Mr Thompson said the association was extremely grateful to all the companies and individuals, many of whom went beyond the call of duty, in order to ensure that the event went ahead. As well as raising the profile of the industry, he added, it appeared that the festival led to an increase in fish sales which made it worthwhile repeating in future years.

‘Some of the major sponsors have already expressed their continued support for the event provided that permission can be gained to hold it again in 2010. Jersey Fishermen’s Association, who would like to run the event again next year, shall be meeting the relevant authorities in the near future to set the ball rolling,’ he said.