Water supply for fisherman pitches hailed as catch of the decade

It is not just the catch of the day for Worthing's fishing industry '“ it is the catch of the decade.

Tuesday, 4th April 2017, 5:31 pm
Updated Tuesday, 9th May 2017, 7:06 pm
Restaurateur Andy Sparsis is trying to help grow Worthing's fishing industry. Picture: Derek Martin

That is according to restaurateur Andy Sparsis, who has helped secure a running water supply for the town’s fishermen.

Mr Sparsis said Worthing Borough Council had agreed to install a water supply for three of the pitches on Worthing Beach, with two more installed per year until they were all covered.

He said it was ‘huge’ progress for fishermen: “For the last ten years fishermen have been calling for this.

“Worthing as a council and a community have realised that protecting our heritage is going to move us forward as much as new projects will. We need to look after what we have to get new things for the town.”

Mr Sparsis said he was also in discussions with the Bashford family, which owns one of the town’s oldest fishing pitches next to the pier, about how to expand the town’s fishing industry.

Talks have included setting up a shop by the pier where fisherman can sell their produce.

Mr Sparsis said more fishing events are in the pipeline, such as summer barbecues on the beach using locally-caught mackerel.

This news comes on the day of the Last Fisherman Standing’s first cookery class in Northbrook College.

The classes will run for a year, on the first Thursday of the month from 7pm until 9pm, and will teach participants basic fish cookery and filleting skills.

The Last Fisherman Standing is a project funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund to research and protect the fishing history of our town.

Anne Thwaites, 37, from Shakespeare Road, Worthing, has spearheaded the project, which has involved interviewing fishermen about their livelihood and visiting Worthing Museum and the town library to trawl through 150 years of photographs and anecdotes.

She said the point was to ‘reconnect people with the sea’ and ‘revive’ fishing in the town.

“We want people to get involved and to inspire them to come down to the sea more often and buy local fish.”

To find out more, visit lastfishermanstanding.org.uk.

Worthing Borough Council has been approached for comment.

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