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Buckland Foundation Annual Report for 2011


The year to December 2011 has been marked by the sad death of John Ramster, the Clerk to the Buckland Foundation, who died on 14th November after a battle with bone cancer. John has played a major role in developing and managing the Foundation having been Clerk for over 25 years both whilst he was a senior member of staff in the Fisheries Laboratory (now CEFAS) at Lowestoft and after his retirement to Scotland. He left an enduring legacy to the Buckland Foundation and will be much missed.

John Firn, a development economist and a member of the Scottish Fisheries Museum in Anstruther, accepted the invitation to succeed John Ramster as Clerk, and his appointment as Clerk was confirmed at a Trustees Meeting held at the Scottish Fisheries Museum in Anstruther on 17 November 2011. A separate short minute of this meeting is available for the records and will be tabled at the 2012 AGM.


Dr Andy Walker completed his 2011 Buckland Professor tenure, where his subject was “Variation amongst brown trout and sea trout (Salmo trutta L. in Scotland”. Following his initial lecture in Anstruther on 24 March, he gave Buckland lectures to the Wester Ross Fisheries Trust/ Gairloch Fishing Festival in Poolewe on 24 June; and to the Freshwater Group at the University of Stirling on 27 October. The lectures were much appreciated and Dr Walker is currently writing a monograph for publication by the Foundation and associated journal articles.

The 2012 Buckland Professor is Professor Ian Boyd, Director of the Scottish Oceans Institute at the University of St Andrews. His topic is “Future Approaches to Fisheries Science”, and his initial Buckland lecture at the Scottish Fisheries Museum on 16th November was both well attended and attracted press comment. His theme is that although fisheries embody some of the most difficult problems in science, current fisheries models, although undoubtedly sophisticated, do not pay sufficient attention to uncertainty, or to the needs of such other ecosystem predators as mammals and seabirds, and he described the beginnings of a conceptual model for taking the latter into account. He has been invited to give his second lecture at CEFAS in Lowestoft on 2 May, and his third audience and venue is scheduled for autumn 2012, possibly at Fishmongers Hall in London, or in Brussels.

The Trustees are reviewing candidates for the 2013 Buckland Professorship. Dr Bannister is currently exploring the possibility of inviting Dr Sidney Holt to succeed Professor Boyd.


Alec Ginns, who held the initial 2011 Buckland Studentship, delivered his draft report and associated histological figures and Excell data spreadsheet in September 2011 and these were accepted by the Trustees as sufficient evidence to justify making the final payment of his studentship. The work was seen to meet the objective of obtaining prevalence, morthometric and molecular data that could assist in better speciation of an important trematode parasite in cockle populations. Following some final revisions, the final Studentship report will be accessioned and made available.

A second 2011 Buckland Studentship, approved by the Trustees at the 2010 AGM, was held by Katie Murray, who set out to compile and present documentary material for the forthcoming “Fisheries Today” exhibition in the Museum which will open later in 2012. The material will also contribute to the new section on fisheries and ocean science that the Museum is developing in Anstruther given the growing public interest in the marine environment and the sustainability of fish stocks. The initial report and material from Ms Murray has made her Studentship a resounding success.

The trawl for Studentship candidates for 2012 is currently underway, and Trustees are confident of attracting interesting applications.


Sales of previous Buckland books and occasional papers during 2011-12 comprised £165.62 during the course of the year. Progress on completing publications arising from Buckland Lectures has been as follows :

Dr Uglow (2010: Novel systems for delivering quality in the live crustacean trade) has informed us that he has completed the first 80 pages of his text, and aims to finish this towards the end of autumn 2012.

Dr Righton (2009: Cod in the North Sea: from hatching to catching), is completing a revised draft of his text in collaboration with Dr Bannister, and aims to finish this sometime in July 2012.

Dr Addison (2004: Science and the management of crab fisheries) has not provided any text to date. He was recently invited by email to submit an update on the position but had not responded by the time of the AGM.

Following the death of the previous Clerk, it will be necessary to review the how the Foundation will organise the publication of future books and occasional papers, and especially the potential for electronic publishing.


Following the death of John Ramster all the Buckland documents, files and disks have been brought together in the Scottish Fisheries Museum where they are held both in store and in locked cabinets in the Museum’s Education Centre. The papers are currently being re-filed and documented, and the issue of how best to meet public access requirements is being addressed by the Clerk and the Museum. The Trustees regard 2012 as an important transition year with longer-term benefits for the Foundation, its Trustees, its Professors and Students, and those interested in Frank Buckland, the Foundation and fisheries science.

The Museum is currently developing its strategic priorities, and its Trustees have made it known that it regards hosting the Buckland Foundation as a major honour, and that it will seek to actively support and promote the Foundation in all its activities. As both a recognition of this and of his major contributions to fisheries science, Dr Richard Shelton, the Chair of the Buckland Trustees was appointed as the Museum’s first Research Fellow in Autumn 2011.

The total income generated during 2011 was £ 5,339.04, a slight fall compared to receipts of £5,850.04 in 2010. The expenses for 2011 of £5,381.35 covering all the received bills during were slightly down on the previous year’s expenditure of £5,850.04. All the Buckland Professorship and Studentship fees and expenses invoiced in 2011 have been paid, and the cash in bank balance at 31 December 2011 was £5,948.49. The Foundation’s bank account remains held by HSBC in Lowestoft but matching facilities in HSBC’s Edinburgh branch have also been put in place following the registration of the new Clerk with HSBC.

The 15 December 2011 market valuation of the Buckland Foundation’s Investment Portfolio as managed by Brewin Dolphin was £120,167.60, a fall of 5.5% from its June 2011 level, reflecting a difficult year for investors. As it stands the Foundation’s portfolio provides an annual gross income of £5,256.00 representing a gross yield of 4.4%. The annual management fee from Brewin Dolphin for the year to January 2012 has been paid from the cash on deposit held by them. The new Clerk will be meeting with Brewin Dolphin early in 2012 to review the Foundation’s current portfolio and explore whether any adjustments in investment strategy and portfolio holdings are required. One decision to be made concerns what to do with money from the repayment of Government bonds due in March 2012 (para 3 of item 11/7 of the Minutes of the 2011 AGM). The current assets of the Foundation are listed in Annex A, and profiles of the receipts and payments for the year are provided in Annex B.

The conditions relating to the Buckland Professorship and the Buckland Studentship are to be reviewed by the Trustees at each Buckland Foundation AGM. The current conditions are attached as Annexes C and D of this annual report. It is intended to continue the recently adopted practice that the invitation round each year should include, by rotation, one of four University Departments with a relevant marine programme. Should there be no response from these four, the Trustees will broaden the invitation to other appropriate research institutes active in fisheries science.


The Foundation’s Chairman and Clerk attended the 2011 Buckland Club supper held in Edgbaston Golf Club on 31st March, the theme of which was A Fish Supper – To Sea and Back. An excellent seafood meal was enjoyed by all, and the Foundation provided a gift for the organisers in appreciation of their contribution in keeping the Buckland dining tradition alive.

John Firn. Clerk to the Buckland Foundation.

18 March 2012.


The Buckland Foundation Trustees as of 31 December 2011 were :

  • Dr RGJ Shelton. (Chairman).
  • Dr RCA Bannister. (Vice-Chairman).
  • Captain PE Du Vivier, RN.
  • The Baroness Wilcox (To March 2012).

The Clerk to the Trustees is John R Firn. (079 1936 1689). The Registered Office for the Buckland Foundation, through which the Trustees and Clerk can be contacted, is :

The Scottish Fisheries Museum, St Ayles, Harbourhead, Anstruther, Fife KY10 3AB.

The Scottish Fisheries Museum Trust Ltd
St Ayles, Harbourhead, Anstruther, Fife KY10 3AB
Tel (within UK): 01333 310628
Tel (from outside UK): +44 1333 310628
Charity Number: SC 006185
VAT Reg Number: 270 2790 64
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