LOCAL action group funding has allowed Welsh bass fishermen to purchase the equipment necessary to sell their catch further afield.
Wales Online reports that the fishermen are the first to benefit from the Pembrokeshire Fisheries Local Action Group (FLAG) – Cleddau to Coast – support.
The six bass fishermen fish in the waters out of Saundersfoot, line fishing high quality sea bass using registered inshore boats. The funding has enabled them to purchase an ice machine, which allows them to maintain the quality of their catch and meet the requirements of buyers outwith the local area.
‘Having the ice machine has made a tremendous difference’, said Berwyn Dennis, one of the fishermen. ‘Before we had to travel to Milford Haven to get ice but now it is on hand.
‘Being able to make our own ice has not just saved us money and travelling time, but it has given us flexibility and we are self-sufficient; we can now have as much ice as we want and when we need it.’
The FLAG programme is designed to encourage collaboration, innovation and to regenerate local communities and add value to the fish caught off the Pembrokeshire coast. It is assisted by the European Fisheries Fund and the Welsh Government
The FLAG area stretches from St Dogmaels to Amroth and covers 71 per cent of the county’s land area and 72 per cent of its population.
The chair of Cleddau to Coast Flag, Nia Marshall, said: ‘The approach to the delivery of the FLAG in Pembrokeshire has given the county a great opportunity to access funds to support research, and collaborative and community fisheries-related projects.
‘We have been encouraged by the level of engagement and the interesting and wide-ranging project applications submitted to date, and are hopeful that the new European Maritime and Fisheries Fund will build on our current success.
‘At a time when funding is limited it has been exciting and rewarding to be able to assist organisations and individuals in accessing this grant.’