The Earl of Wessex has called for wider recognition of the work of fishermen and the role that fishing plays in local economies. Prince Edward made his plea as his year long stint as President of the Royal Norfolk Show came to an end this week.
The Earl told the Annual General Meeting of the Royal Norfolk Agricultural Association that bringing fishing into the spotlight ‘would be no bad thing’. He said ‘I know that the association is about promoting land-based economies but as we move into the area of food and where food comes from, particularly here in Norfolk, this is an area where we should extend a hand of welcome’.
Norfolk’s fishing industry has been a source of income for centuries and delicacies like Cromer crab are famous around the world. But in recent months workers in the herring industry have raised concerns about issues facing their trade. And while fishing as a tourist attraction is widely advertised, some within the fishing industry itself have expressed worries that their trade is being overlooked.
As the Earl of Wessex handed over his responsibilities as President he was praised for his knowledge and enthusiasm during his year long stint. The Royal Norfolk Show takes place every summer and is a huge event in the county. Last year it marked its 60th anniversary and Prince Edward was there to meet some of the hundreds of stall holders and thousands of visitors as well as to hand out prizes.
And he was out and about meeting more agricultural experts following his speech on fishing this week. His day in Norfolk also included a tour of the Norfolk campus of Easton and Otley College where he met students on courses covering agriculture and construction.
The Earl’s plea for more understanding and deeper interest in food industries echoes some of the concerns his brother, the Prince of Wales, has made over the years. Prince Charles has shown a long term commitment to raising the profile of local food industries and earlier this month spent a day in Cumbria hearing about the issues facing sheep farmers there. And Prince Edward’s speech in support of the fishing industry has won him new fans in Norfolk as he ends a successful year working with one of the most famous agricultural shows in England.
Photo credit: Yate Armadillo via Flickr