is one of Britain's oldest fishing ports. Boats have worked from
the beach in front of the ancient town for over a thousand years,
supplying Hastings with its basic industry and main tourist attraction.
The Hastings Fishermen's Protection Society preserves the fishing
community's medieval right to carry on using that beach - known
as the Stade
- for ever, free of charge.
On the Stade there are more
than 25 boats, the largest beach-launched fishing fleet in Britain.
The Society is based in Hastings
Fishmarket, which was built in 1993 by a non-profit
company created by the Society. In 1986 the Society set up the
Fishermen's Co-op, a retail shop selling all types of fishing
gear. The Co-op, also known as the Fishermen's Shop, has its own
The Society looks after a charity, the Fisherman's
Institute, which owns a large building in the heart
of Hastings Old Town. The Institute was founded in 1882 to help
distressed fishermen and their families.
With another local charity
the Society jointly runs the Fishermen's
Museum, visited by over 140,000 people every year.