The past year has seen the Buckland Foundation gradually overcoming the sad loss of John Ramster as its long-standing Clerk, and John Firn beginning to take the Foundation forward. Following the AGM in March 2012, the Trustees held two further meetings in the Scottish Fisheries Museum in Anstruther, where the Foundation is firmly based. The Chairman and the Museum’s Curator, Linda Fitzpatrick, built upon the research undertaken by Katie Murray under her 2011 Buckland-Smith Summer Studentship, to develop the major new Frank Buckland Exhibition on The Future of Fishing which is now open to visitors in the John Noble Gallery in the Museum.
Initial feedback from Museum members and visitors has been encouraging, and the Foundation and Museum are continuing to explore ways with the Museum’s architect of introducing a larger research and education capability to be known as The Frank Buckland Centre, possibly housed in the East Green building that is currently empty. The Foundation Trustees are grateful to David Corner (Museum Chairman), Simon Hayhow (Museum Director), Museum Trustees and staff for their continuing support for the Buckland Foundation and its objectives in promoting the awareness and impact of fisheries science.
The Museum’s Curator and staff have nearly completed cataloguing the Buckland Foundation papers, publications and artefacts, and it is hoped that the resulting information will in future be available on-line. The Museum also completed a comprehensive redesign and expansion of its website (www.scotfishmuseum.org), and the first pages of a new section on Frank Buckland and the Buckland Foundation have gone live. Further pages for the Foundation will be added from spring 2013 onwards, including lists of Buckland Professors and Lectures, recent Buckland-Smith Studentship reports, available Buckland books and publications, Foundation contact details, and the annual reports and accounts of the Buckland Foundation. The objective is to develop this part of the Museum’s online presence to form the Foundation’s prime website, with appropriate links to other sites and resources.
The Clerk, with the assistance of the Trustees, also began to assemble an electronic mailing list of all known fisheries and marine science institutions and centres in the UK and Eire so that the Foundation can keep such institutions and their key scientists informed about Buckland Foundation events and publications, and to contact in relation to attracting strong applications for the Buckland-Smith Summer Studentships. The initial mailing list has been significantly expanded through the responses and bookings for the March 2013 London colloquium.
The 2012-13 Buckland Professor was Professor Ian Boyd, Director of the Scottish Oceans Institute at the University of St Andrews, who in Autumn 2012 was appointed Chief Scientific Advisor to the UK Government’s Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs for an initial three year term. Following his initial Buckland Lecture on “Future Approaches to Fisheries Science” in the Scottish Fisheries Museum in November 2011, he gave the second lecture in CEFAS, Lowestoft in early May 2012 which generated a spirited discussion. Towards the end of 2012, and recognising the priority of his new Government role, the Foundation Trustees suggested to Professor Boyd that his third and final Buckland Lecture be one of the central lectures at the Buckland Special Colloquium on “Why, or why not maximum sustainable yield? Contemporary thoughts on the rational management of fisheries” to be held in Fishmongers’ Hall in March 2013. A report of this successful and well-attended meeting will be separately produced by the Foundation and also covered in the 2013 Annual Report.
At the Trustees meeting in October 2012, it was also decided to invite Professor Sidney Holt, author of the classic book “Beverton & Holt” to become the Buckland Professor for 2013-14, and for him to give his Buckland Lecture at the March 2013 Colloquium alongside Professor Boyd. Dr Colin Bannister, on behalf of the Foundation, took on the role of developing, delivering and Chairing the Colloquium. The Trustees thank Dr Bannister for the creative effort and thought that resulted in a major and visible success for the Buckland Foundation.
An initial list of candidates for future Buckland Professors was developed during the year, and these were reviewed at each of the 2012 Trustee meetings. As noted above, a full list of all Buckland Professors and the Lecture topics will eventually be posted on the Buckland pages of the Museum’s website.
At the meeting of Trustees in March 2012 it was agreed, that as the Foundation’s funds were favourable, to follow the precedent of 2011 and make two Buckland-Smith Summer Studentships available. A call for applications was circulated electronically to 13 relevant institutions in early April 2012, together with explanatory supporting papers, with a final submission date of 30th April 2012. Three applications were received, and after review by the Foundation Trustees, two Buckland-Smith Summer Studentships for 2012 were awarded. Both were successfully completed by late autumn, and the Trustees were pleased with the overall results of the research by the students and the effectiveness of their supervision by the fisheries scientists involved.
Jamie Bojko, an undergraduate genetics student at the University of Leeds, undertook his Studentship placement in CEFAS at Lowestoft, with an investigation into Microsporidia, pea crabs and mussels – an unholy trinity, under the supervision of Dr Matt Longshaw and Dr Grant Stentiford. The research examined the infection of pea crabs with Facilispora margolisi a parasite of mussels, and suggested some routes by which the infection took place, but suggested that the complexity of this trinity required further research. It is planned to submit a paper on the research for publication during 2013.
The second Buckland-Smith Studentship was awarded to Maud Kent, and undergraduate student in the Scottish oceans institute at the University of St Andrews, supervised by Dr Alfredo Ojanguren. Her research project, The effect of temperature on recruitment variability, sought to improve understanding of how water temperatures affect routine swimming behaviours, which in turn is important in understanding recruitment variability and fish population dynamics. The research involved videoing movements of Trinidadian guppies at different temperature levels, and then analysing the relationship between movement and temperature. Her results sought to make inferences about both predator and prey encounter rates, thus lending insight into survivorship during the early life stages which in turn determines recruitment.
The Trustees were impressed by this research which has important implications for fish populations, and decided to suggest to Maud Kent and her supervisor that they should apply for a follow-on Summer Studentship to further explore this relationship. The Clerk had discussions with the St Andrews research team and learned that there was an opportunity for using the SORI research technique on juvenile commercial species such as herring being undertaken at the University of Hamburg. A proposal for such research was therefore sought, and the Trustees will review this at the March 2013 Trustees meeting together with the funding implications for the Foundation.
Sales of previous Buckland books and occasional papers during 2012 were up on the previous year, and royalty payments to the Foundation came to £276.57 (£165.62 in 2011). The Foundation will explore with their current publishers the potential for both reprinting certain earlier books and reports that appear to be of continuing interest, and of making papers and monographs available in electronic form in future. The evolution of the Buckland Lectures towards comprehensive presentations in such as MS Powerpoint might suggest that for some lectures these be made available in such formats to enable their more rapid dissemination.
The October 2012 meeting of the Trustees reviewed the tenures of the present Chairman, Vice Chairman and Trustee, and explored the succession of new Trustees over the next five year period. Dr Colin Bannister, the present Vice-Chairman, intimated that he is considering retirement following the end of his second term, which is scheduled to end on 18 March 2015, and it was proposed and agreed that Dr David Righton be invited to succeed him as Trustee. Dr Righton indicated his willingness to succeed Dr Bannister.
The total income generated during 2012 from the Buckland Foundation investment portfolio currently managed by Brewin Dolphin was £5,263.37, a rise of just over £7.00 from the 2011 post-tax revenue return from the portfolio. In addition, the book royalties and a one-off payment from the US Shell settlement brought total 2012 revenue to £5,582.34. Expenditure by the Foundation over the year came to £5,197.00, thus producing a net growth in funds of £385.27. The cash balance held by HSBC for the Foundation at 31st December 2012 was £7,467.76, up from £5,948.49 at 31st December 2011. This slight growth was sought by the Clerk and Trustees in order to ensure that sufficient funds were immediately available to the Foundation to cover the anticipated costs of the London Colloquium in March 2013, including the air fares of Professor Holt who would be flying in from Rome. All Professor, Studentship and other honoraria and Trustee expenses have been paid, and no debts existed at the end of the year. Summary accounts are attached to this annual report.
The total value of the Buckland Foundation investment portfolio at 5th January 2013 was £132,224, a growth of £12,057 over the year - a rise of just over 10% during a challenging investment period. The Trustees are grateful to Brewin Dolphin, and especially Nick Liddell, for their careful and effective stewardship of the Foundation’s funds.
In recent years the Trustees have reviewed how the current value of the Buckland assets (chiefly the investment portfolio) compares to values in both the recent and the distant past. For example, taking the value of the investment portfolio at, for example, 16 December 2004, which was £113 942, and correcting for inflation using the Bank of England inflation calculator, produces an equivalent value of £148 148 in 2012, so that the current actual value of £132 224 (which does not take into account the cash assets of £7467.67 on 31 December 2012, before paying the costs of the Sidney Holt Colloquium and the current AGM) represents a performance deficit of roughly £16000 on accumulated value.
Over the lifetime of the Foundation, the accumulated deficit is substantially larger. The original Frank Buckland bequest of £5000 in 1880 did not become available until after the winding up of the Buckland family estate, and the inception of the Foundation in 1923. The first available datum point for subsequent calculations was the value of £3956/15/11 extant in 1926. This was worth a corrected value of £125 784 in 1997, the year in which the Fred Smith bequest of £10 000 for studentships was received, creating a new datum value of £135 784 in 1997 for subsequent calculations. (This information is taken from Annex B of the Report of the Trustees for April 2010-March 2011). Based on the Bank of England calculator, the corrected value of the 1997 datum of £135 784 is £209282, so that the current portfolio value of £132224 represents a notional loss of value of £77 058 since 1997, an average loss of £4816 per annum. This is of course almost exactly equivalent to the annual running costs of the Foundation, and is also approximately equal to the annual income from the portfolio. The latter therefore only provides a hedge against the loss of value due to inflation, but is not sufficient to also compensate for the expenses of the Professor and the AGM: to compensate for both would require double the current income. In other words, to maintain the value of the investment, the annual income would have to be retained and not spent, and the stated activities of the Foundation would have to cease. Therefore, to stabilise the slow attrition of funds due to the current modest expenditure on the activities of the Foundation actually requires an additional income source approximately equal to current running costs.
There did not appear to have been a Buckland Club Supper during 2012, and the Trustees at their October meeting suggested that the Clerk make contact with the organisers of the successful 2011 Supper to explore the potential for maintaining this long-standing Buckland dining tradition. Through the goodwill of the Chairman, lunches in the Buckland tradition were enjoyed at Trustee meetings in March and October 2012.
John Firn. Clerk to the Buckland Foundation.
5 March 2013.
BUCKLAND FOUNDATION TRUSTEES AND CONTACTS.
The Buckland Foundation Trustees as of 31st December 2012 were :
The Clerk to the Trustees is John R Firn. (079 1936 1689).
The Registered Office of the Buckland Foundation, through which the Trustees and Clerk can be contacted, is :
The Scottish Fisheries Museum, St Ayles, Harbourhead, Anstruther, Fife KY10 3AB.