Aquaculture for all

European Fisheries Funding Is Invaluable

Sustainability Politics +2 more

UK - With a key report on the future of European Fisheries Funding published by the EU Court of Auditors this week, Seafish highlights the importance of European funding an invaluable means of support for commercial fishermen, which continues to aid the improvement of industry standards and sustainability.

Seafish works closely with industry on a number of EFF projects and industries, which strive to improve industry standards in key areas such as safety and sustainability. Seafish believes that European funding for such projects is vital the continued improvement of standards in the industry.

“Fishing remains the most dangerous occupation in the UK, with a fatality rate 115 times the UK industry average. This reflects why improving safety is one of our main priorities, whether it is through provision of information, surveys and inspections or the development and delivery of training for fishermen. We have had significant contributions from the European Fisheries Fund, which have enabled us to deliver these initiatives.” said Simon Potten, Operations Manager at Seafish.

As well as safety, Seafish has developed several projects with the support of EFF that strive to actively improve the sustainability of the industry, as Mike Montgomerie, Gear Technologist at Seafish, explains: “As part of the Seafish Gear Technology Training Project, 63 participants from all fishing communities throughout Scotland have benefited from trawl gear technology courses at Hirtshals flume tank (see notes).

"These course were funded through a combination of Seafish and EFF. The project is still underway in England, and these courses are the only course of this type in the EU. They provide these fishermen, already experts in their field, a high level of training and understanding of the gear they use and the alterations that they can make to improve efficiency.

“The courses also highlight the possibilities of selective devices that are available for fishermen to use to reduce discards and improve the selectivity of their gear. We have received great feedback from fishermen on the courses’ content, as well as impressive estimates on the financial benefits they feel will be achieved following their training (see notes).” Mr Montgomerie concludes.

Seafish is keen to emphasise the key role that EFF plays in supporting the commercial fishing industry, and that it is vital that the fund continues to support projects and training initiatives such as these. The organisation is keen to highlight the widespread positive impacts of EFF, and hope to see the EU continue to support this through the introduction of the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund.

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