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The Gillage Foundation
I started fishing at around four years old , in the sea, rivers and lakes of Britain. This gave me an understanding of our natural surroundings, from the woodlands, fields, beaches, sand dunes and tidal areas we had to walk to, to get to our fishing spot. I now understand what I saw as a child and how I learned to appreciate these things, as eco-systems. These systems are now under threat from many angles and we need to now man make additional ' Facilities ' for these systems to survive. A manufacturing , design lead creative architectural and science based approach should now be implemented for the essential survival of our local flora and fauna. The Gillage Foundation hopes to facilitate the above necessary approaches to the problems faced from pollution, over fishing, destruction of natural habitats by construction and local effects of global warming and species migration.
By building a series of off-shore reefs within a mile of the coastland and creating non-commercial fishing zones within this mile and also between the numerous offshore wind farms we can bring the fish stocks back to how they were when I was a child. I was so impressed by the catches we took as children and into my adult years that eventually this helped to forge my skills as a chef. Our country built it's Navy from seafaring skills learnt from our extensive fishing flotilla. As an island that's seas are enriched from Southern Gulf warming and from Artic cold flows our fish stocks were for many hundreds of years the best in the world. Now we have for the first time ever a ban on taking a Bass home to eat. Commercial fisherman can still take these fish from our waters yet individuals cannot take one home. We should all as our right be able to go fishing with our family and catch our tea.
The Gillage Foundation plans to build and install cabins along our coast line near to these reefs. These cabins will host meetings, teaching for adults and children, and environmental awareness. These meetings and educational processes will be designed so that an understanding of what lies below the surface should be firstly understood and then respected and protected. Posters with pictures and descriptions of rock pool life will adorn the walls and nets and buckets will be available for children for pool dipping.
A small kitchen will also be fitted to each cabin and each day a fish soup or stew will be available for guests to eat. This will be made from the fish that local commercial fishermen cannot easily sell at market yet is caught with the more sellable items. Also hobby fishermen may bring their catch to the cabin and have it prepared for them for lunch or dinner. A charge of " Gillage " will be payable for this preparation. We hope that these cabins can be staffed by people that have lost their livelihoods by the cuts to our fishing fleet. This is just the start of a larger programme of education and water resource awareness that Ongéan Environmental Design Lab is pioneering in collaboration with new partners. Look out for more information here and on a new webpage: TheGillageFoundation.org , in construction.