THE Observer asked readers to back our fight for a fairer deal for our struggling fishermen - and you responded in your hundreds.
Dozens of our cut out fish petitions having been delivered to our Telford Road headquarters every morning since last week’s paper hit the shelves on Friday.
Many were decorated with brightly coloured fish on the back while others came with messages of support.
All of them had one thing in common. They show the people of this town are well and truly behind the local fishing industry.
Observer editor Keith Ridley has been delighted with the response. He said: “Fishing is such an important part of local life and has been for generations, so it is no surprise to have so many readers coming on board.
“We got 3,000 to sign our Save Our Pier petition and we are determined to better that. Nearly 20,000 people read the Observer each week, so if just one in four readers filled in a fish we would have 5,000 to take to Downing Street.”
The campaign has also received backing from the fishermen themselves.
One Hastings boat owner said it was important the town acted before its heritage was lost forever.
Robert Ball, of RX389, has been fishing off Hastings for 37 years. He said: “I back the Observer campaign because there is no future for the younger generation for our sons to go fishing.
“I don’t think one is carrying on after their father - I know mine isn’t. “When we land the catch does not even pay for the diesel let alone our wages after a 16-hour day.”
Hastings MP Amber Rudd took her fish up to the House of Commons to be pictured outside holding it and has promised to take copies for every MP of a coastal town to sign.
Anyone who missed last week’s fish can cut-out the one on page 45 and send it in (photocopies more than welcome) to Richard Morris, Hastings Observer, Woods House, Telford Road, St Leonards, TN38 9LZ.
And, if any schools plan on sending in coloured in fish, they should photograph the pupils holding them up in a group and email them to firstname.lastname@example.org.