Andrew Lawrence from Osborne & Sons Shellfish tells his story

The ocean spans over 70% of our world and is the life source for the planet. The livelihood of millions of people and other living organisms depends on the seas.

In addition, the ocean also serves as the primary source of oxygen with producing more than 50% of the oxygen for the entire planet.

Furthermore, the ocean is also essential for the economy of several countries in the world.

We need to keep the seas clean, and World Oceans Day is celebrated to remind us about this fact.

This year’s World Oceans Day was celebrated on June 8th, 2021. The theme for this year was “The Ocean: Life and Livelihoods,” and it aims to implement sustainable practices for the use of marine resources.

The Port of London Authority met Mr. Andrew Lawrence from the Essex-based company Osborne & Sons Shellfish.

Mr. Lawrence was born in a Rochford hospital in January 1975. He hails from a long generation of fishers that goes back five generations. The fishing experience in his family goes back hundreds of years.

He remembers his grandfather unloading their cockle boat outside their café. Andrew Lawrence also developed a penchant for fishing when he was a very young boy. He remembers being always into fishing and sailing.

Even these days, he spends most of his time on the river.

Andrew Lawrence went to the local comprehensive school where most of his family members went. He loved sports and mathematics and still does. However, deep in his heart, he knew that he would be responsible for running the family business one day.

Mr. Lawrence used to go out on the boat with his uncle during the holidays. He left school at the age of 16 and has been working full-time for the family business since then.

Read the complete article to learn more about Osborne & Sons Shellfish!

A family tradition

“The Thames has been the focus of our business for over 140 years, shrimping and cockling.

“Our original cockleboat Renown was involved in the evacuation of the troops from the beaches of Dunkirk, and sadly was blown up on its return journey.

“We have had several cockle boats built since, some locally. Our newest vessel Mary Amelia LO86 was built in Newhaven, Sussex.

Working life

I don’t really have a typical day, but it is more a bit more routine during the cockle season, from mid-June to mid-October.

“We leave to go out on the boat from Leigh-on-Sea, as the tide is coming in and steam to whatever cockle ground we will be working from. Once we have fished our “TAC” quota, (Total Allowable Catch), we will ideally return on the outgoing tide, or wait until the next incoming tide.

“Once we return to Leigh-on-Sea, I unload the boat with our excavator and drive the tractor to our factory, where we start the processing of the cockles.

Surviving COVID-19

“The business has been affected by the pandemic in many ways.

“There have been shortages of products and supplies and we have had to adapt our ways of working, like most people.

The complete article is available for reading on the following link:

https://www.pla.co.uk/Media-Centre/People-of-the-Thames/Over-a-century-of-cockling?hss_channel=tw-146092098