Major funding package unveiled for the inshore sector –

Major funding package unveiled for the inshore sector Published:  05 November, 2004

THE Sea Fish Industry Authority (Seafish) is investing over £¾ million this year through a new group formed to focus on the important inshore sector of the seafood industry, it was revealed at the Association of Scottish Shellfish Growers’ conference in Oban.

Seafish’s new Inshore Group will work closely with industry, environmental groups and government, as well as local managers and regulators to help develop inshore fisheries and aquaculture.

The sector already supports at least 45 per cent of total UK fisheries employment, and has the potential to provide even more high value fishing jobs into the future. It also contributes to the value of culture and tourism of many small communities dispersed around the UK coast.

The Prime Minister’s Strategy Unit Net Benefits report, published earlier this year identified development of the inshore sector was one of the opportunities and Government will respond to this report next year.

Through the creation of this Inshore Group Seafish says it is helping to improve marketing to UK consumers, processors and retailers and to increase demand for the higher value species that are currently largely exported.

This strategy is in keeping with recommendations of The Strategy Unit report on the fishing industry. They also recommend that the industry should exploit mariculture opportunities and co-operate with other users of the local marine environment.”Our new Inshore Group will help to achieve this,” explains Dr Sue Utting, who will manage the group.

Members of the group have particular expertise in:

inshore shellfisheries;

marine fish and shellfish aquaculture;

molluscan depuration;

crustacea handling and storage from catch to market;

economic review and assessment.

The group will also draw on expertise from across Seafish on other aspects of inshore fisheries and to help the sector meet the Strategy Unit’s recommendations, including assisting with bids for government and EU funding, something which this sector has found difficult to secure in the past, providing the team with economic advice and identifying marketing opportunities.

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