James Locker, from England, is the captain of the seven strong crew on the pair trawler OUR Lass III, part of the of Lockers Trawlers fleet. There are three generations of fishermen in James’ family, including his father, Arnold Locker, owner of Lockers Fish and Trawlers and ex chairman of the National Federation of Fishermen’s Organisation.
His vessel, which catches primarily cod and haddock, was instrumental in setting up and pioneering the Fully Documented Fisheries Scheme with the UK government’s Department for Environment Food & Rural Affairs, meaning that every step of the fishing process is video monitored by 24 hour CCTV. All Lockers Trawlers’ vessels now operate under the scheme and have done so since 2010.
Lockers itself has taken significant steps to strengthen its commitment to sustainability and efficient fishing. By using highly selective nets and participating in gear trials, its discard rate has been brought down to an unprecedentedly low level.
James believes that fishing has changed dramatically since he started in the industry 19 years ago. Originally working a 4-5 day week operating out of his home port of Whitby, Yorkshire, he now works a 7 day week out of Peterhead in Scotland. This, he says, is why vessel efficiency is key to achieving success as it has to be balanced against quota and market prices.
The most rewarding part of the job, according to James, is taking the boat back to port with a good catch and being satisfied that he and his team have achieved all they can.
Below is a video showing the process Lockers fish goes through to get from trawler to table.