April 2019 - Fal Oyster fisherman creates CIC to promote sustainable methods April 01 2020

Falmouth Packet

Fal Oyster fisherman creates CIC to promote sustainable methods

By Marco Ferrari

Chris Ranger, from Fal Oyster [Ltd.], made the announcement on the anniversary of his tenth year of owning his boat Alf Smythers. Hoping to band together with other local fishermen, Chris aims to promote and encourage sustainable fishing methods. He said: "I just think that in the market these days, people want to know where their fish is coming from. I think being around to tell people exactly where it comes from is a unique selling point."

Fal Oysters hold EU Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) status, which means that only oysters landed, processed and prepared locally are worthy of the name. But Chris says that overfishing has made it more and more difficult to remain in business recently. He said: "There's not as many boats out there as there were 100 years ago. The stock have been over fished, the same as everywhere else.

"The Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) hasn't helped the fishery. The community don't know the whole picture; this business has been very hard. "Being a one man band hasn't been viable." By forming the Fal Fishery Cooperative CIC with Jason Pascoe, (resigning) chairman of the Fal Fisheries Management Committee, Chris plans to improve conditions for local fishermen. He wants to set up a focal point for Fal fishermen at his processing centre in Mylor and is hoping that together they will be able to buy a new grading machine to process shellfish, and a set of scales for the quay among other things.

Ostrea Edulis, the Latin name for the Native Oyster, is classified as highly endangered all over Europe, and the species plays an important role in marine ecosystems by providing a habitat for other species and filtering water.