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Harvest Team.jpg

A combined passion and enthusiasm for fisheries management led to the creation of VS Fisheries in 2005, when Viv Shears and Simon Scott embarked on their carp farming business.

The following year, the pair joined forces with Sussex farmers Richard and Mark Chandler and the business moved to its existing premises. The farm has continued to grow steadily over the years and is now one of the largest CEFAS authorised carp farms in the UK producing all of its own fish on site.

The Directors

Viv Shears

After graduating from Sparsholt College in 1995 Viv moved into fisheries management as Fisheries Manager with RMC Angling, where he created and stocked many well-known fisheries during his five years in the role. In 2004, he returned to Sparsholt where he lectured for 11 years on fisheries management, practical fisheries construction and fish farming. During his 30 years in fisheries work, he has carried out numerous consultancy projects with customers across the UK and Europe, where he advises on all aspects of fisheries development and management. Having managed numerous fisheries his understanding of practical fishery development, means he can advise customers on realistic stocking plans utilising his sound current technical knowledge, to achieve clients’ goals.

Viv Shears VS Fisheries

Viv continues to be actively involved in fisheries training through lecturing to various groups, including the hugely successful Colne Valley Fisheries and Conservation Course, that trained over 60 volunteer angling club members. He is also co-founder of the Anglers National Line Recycling Scheme (ANLRS) that has recycled waste line and plastics from the angling sector since 2018, and in 2023 he became a trustee of ReAP UK, which is a charity that recovers and recycles aquatic plastics from our waterways and coast lines.

As a life-long angler, Viv can be found fishing for a huge variety of fish species from crucians in Surrey, Bass and Blue Fin Tuna along the South Coast, to monster halibut in the fjords of Northern Norway. For him, variety has certainly become the spice of life in terms of his angling... and of course carp farming!

Simon Scott

As a very small boy Simon was completely fascinated by water, spending many hours newt and tadpole hunting around an overgrown garden pond! These adventures would frequently result in jars full of desperate amphibians and a little boy covered head to toe in black silt.. not much has changed!

Shortly after his seventh birthday armed with a new fishing rod and a bag of maggots Simon was taken by his father on his first fishing trip. One silvery rudd later and a lifelong passion for fishing was born.

Simon Scott VS Fisheries

Having successfully graduated from Sparsholt College Simon moved to the University of Plymouth to undertake a Master of Science Degree in Applied Fish Biology.

After working in fisheries consultancy Simon headed back to Sparsholt College as a lecturer within the Fisheries Department, a post he held for 20 years. During his time at Sparsholt he was involved in many fascinating projects, including netting many of the country’s top fisheries and spawning large numbers of carp from sources as varied as Redmire Pool, North Harrow Waltonians and Sutton-at-Hone.

Simon who remains a mad keen carp angler is retained as a consultant by Korda, the Essex based tackle giants and by Baitworks, the Cotswold bait manufacturer. Additionally over the last decade he has presented and co-presented a number of television shows including Thinking Tackle, Carp Crew and Predators, amongst others. Simon continues to work as a fishery consultant and manages several private ponds.

Richard Chandler

Producing fish on the farm all started when Richard reinstated some dilapidated ponds back in 1998 as his millenium project to improve the aquatic habitat and biodiversity on the farm. 

Richard has a passion for creating beautiful ponds and using his extensive knowledge of the hydrology within the soil, he has made very good use of unproductive farmland turning it into a stunning fish farm location and hugely benefitting the natural environment. His knowledge of traditional livestock husbandry is put to great effect daily and his continued drive to expand our waters has been key to the growth of the business over the last 10 years. 

The Team

We are very fortunate to have a great team here at VS Fisheries. Will Newman joined us full time in 2022, having spent several years supporting us during the winter harvests.

More recently, Will has been joined by Toby Moore and Darragh Taylor-Brewin, who came to us as seasonal workers for the harvest season. Toby graduated from Sparsholt College last year and they have both been a great addition to the team.

Sue Scott has been heavily involved since day one and works in all aspects of the farm. Most importantly, she is Simon’s right hand-man and stress coach throughout the spawning process!

We are also joined by seasonal staff during the long winter period when we drain, harvest and deliver our carp to their new homes.

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