Jack Clarke of Soleshare talks Fish and Beards

Posted on

May 12, 2014

Categories

Tags

Share this

Pin this

Real fishermen have beards – or so the saying goes – and Jack Clarke’s certainly doesn’t disappoint. As Co-Founder/Director of Soleshare, a community supported fishery, this man is changing the way we think about and buy our fish. With the help of co-founder, Theresa Douthwright, Soleshare is supporting responsible fishing whilst bringing a broader range of fish to public attention. An honourable mission indeed.

Beardrevered was thrilled to get a chance to talk to Jack about life, fish and facial hair. Here’s what he had to say:

Many thanks for taking the time to talk to Beardrevered. What is Soleshare?

SoleShare’s a Community Supported Fishery. It’s a bit like a vegbox, but with fish. You sign up as a member, choose how much fish you want and how often you want it. We buy all our fish straight from a handful of dayboat fisherman who use environmentally responsible methods – static nets and handlines. There’s no choice in what you get – it depends what they’re catching that day – but we give you recipes each week and run free filleting workshops. It’s a great way of getting your hands on spanking fresh fish and trying things you might not normally get the chance to.

How and when did you set it up and what is your role?

I’m the Co-Founder and Co-Director. I set it up last year with my friend and business partner Theresa. We found it hard to find good, fresh, responsibly sourced fish in London, so we set about changing that with SoleShare.

soleshare1

Have you always been involved in the fishing industry – what was the original lure?

For many years I campaigned about the evils of overfishing and illegal fishing. Before that I worked as a marine biologist in various tropical paradises and had seen first hand the havoc unregulated fishing can wreak on an ecosystem and the people that rely on it. All the doom-mongering got a bit much for me though, so I decided to champion the good fishermen, support their way of life and help develop a market for their catch.

What have been your biggest obstacles, if any?

Weather’s always a problem and almost every week we’re in a panic as to whether our guys will be able to get out to sea. They work on small boats and if the wind’s blowing the wrong way, or it’s too strong, or the tides are wrong, they can’t get out. We now work with three different fishermen, Ken in Kent, Martin in Sussex and Kev in Cornwall, so the weather’s usually good for one of them!

What have been your biggest triumphs?

We didn’t really know whether people in London would be into the idea, but we expanded this spring to cover three locations in East London and now have ninety members on board. I’m proud that we managed that in just 6 months. There are small triumphs every day, just getting the fish off the boat and into town in three hours is a minor miracle! SoleShare’s still very young though and we’ve got big ideas for the future.

soleshare2

So, is it true? Do “Real Fishermen have beards”?

No, real fishermen look like plumbers. I look more like a ‘real fisherman’ than any I’ve met. The stereotype of a wrinkled, bearded, old man in a rollneck, smoking a pipe exists only in adverts. Real fishermen do have giant, leathery, bear hands though. Just by shaking a fisherman’s hand, they make you feel like a preening ninny boy who’s never done a day’s work in his life.

Do you feel more authentic with a beard then?

The beard came first; the rest just fell into plaice. My wardrobe is getting more nautical every day. I’m not paying myself much money, so the only clothing expenditure I can justify is if I can wear it for work, which normally means smock, Breton or oilskin. I’m rapidly turning into the stereotype I mentioned earlier. Maybe I’m trying to make up for my girlish, city boy hands with an overt display of butch outerwear.

What’s your grooming routine?

As every man with a beard will know, it’s like a comfort blanket that you stroke and play with constantly. When your hands are constantly covered in fish guts, this can pose a problem. I’m sure all the Omega-3 adds a certain lustre though.

I wash it with soap every day. A good friend bought me some First Olympian, Zeus beard oil too, which gets slapped on for special occasions to mask the smell of fish.

What is the best thing about having a beard?

It hides a weak chin well.

Who is your bearded hero and why?

In the revolutionary army in Cuba, the length of your beard signified how long you had been ‘in the shit’. Camilo Cienfuegos had the best beard of the bunch and he really knew how to rock a cowboy hat. He started a baseball team composed entirely of revolutionaries called ‘Los Barbudos’ (The Bearded Ones). He was the Michelangelo to Castro’s Leonardo (yes, that’s a Turtles analogy) and I’m pretty sure Fidel was jealous of his easy going charm, as well as his spectacular facial hair. His death is shrouded in mystery – his plane went missing in 1959, with many saying that Fidel ordered it shot down. Classic beard envy.

soleshare3

Get involved and spread the word : soleshare.net

 

Camilo Cienfuegos image: radiotrinidad.cu

Categories

Share this

featured post

Father’s Day Tees

Father’s Day Tees

Not really beard-related but thought I’d share these Father and son matching tees on Etsy UK – just because..

Balls and Beard

Sometimes it’s just the simple things – I like this for Mother’s Day on 22nd March. Take it as you will..

Snowmelt beard butter

So buttery, you just might mistake it for the real thing! This Snowmelt beard butter by Rugged Smuggler on Etsy UK will moisturize and condition your beard like no other. Packed with organic shea butter, organic mango butter, organic coconut … Continue reading

Wood you be mine?

Could this be any more perfect? Maybe as a proposal statement? An instant download measuring 5′ x 7′ although other sizes are available for a small fee. Wood You Be Mine Digital Art Print on Etsy UK Wood You Be … Continue reading

Talk is Cheap

I missed Valentine’s Day with this one but that shouldn’t stop you sending this Talk is cheap card on Etsy UK – it says it all really! Talk is cheap card on Etsy UK

You’re my favourite beard

I’ve been enjoying scrolling through all the fabulous cards for all you beardy love birds out there. These two are particulary good.

What Is LIKEtoKNOW.It?

Download the new LIKEtoKNOW.it app now to shop your screenshots™. It is that easy! Screenshot my LIKEtoKNOW.it enabled images and shop instantly. Click "Learn More" below to download the app or click on the images below to shop!



Learn More


Partners In
Beard

This error message is only visible to WordPress admins

Error: API requests are being delayed for this account. New posts will not be retrieved.

There may be an issue with the Instagram access token that you are using. Your server might also be unable to connect to Instagram at this time.

Follow us on