Aquaculture for all

Seafish Awards 700k To Industry Projects

Economics Education & academia +2 more

UK - Seafish, the authority on seafood, has announced more than 700,000 of funding for innovative projects and businesses from its Industry Project Fund (IPF). With significant partnership funding, these projects will be worth 1.5 million to industry.

The IPF, instigated in 2007 to support innovation and foster growth in all areas of the UK seafood industry, will support 15 new projects in its latest round, as well as the continuation of nine projects from previous funding rounds.

Chief Executive, Dr Paul Williams, said many of the new projects have been selected to reflect the industry's desire to communicate positive messages about seafood to the consumer.

"Overall, the scope of funded projects is wide - and includes projects on fishermen's safety and marine spatial planning," says Dr Williams.

"However, this year, we have focused more attention on consumer communication and projects that promote the nutritional benefits of seafood. We want the UK public to engage with seafood and see it as a healthy and easy-to-cook product."

One of the successful projects within the 'consumer' theme is the 'Fish to Food' Outreach Project, run by Billingsgate Seafood Training School in London.

Adam Whittle, Deputy Director at the School, said: "It is fantastic news that we have been awarded this support for our work with schools promoting sustainable seafood to young people."

"We will use this money to extend the scope of our work in schools by making our training sessions more engaging, ensuring our healthy eating messages get back from school into the home and finally giving access to teachers and other schools this information electronically."

Other successful projects from this year's tranche include: research into the nutritional content of langoustine (Nephrops) to be used for 'on pack' promotion by the Shellfish Association of Great Britain (SAGB); a major project on fishermen's safety training, to be coordinated by Seafish; and a project to monitor UK fish stock performance by the National Federation of Fishermen's Organisations (NFFO).

Dr Tom Pickerell, Director of the SAGB, said he is delighted that several of their projects have been supported.

"The IPF is an extremely valuable source of funding and enables not-for-profit organisations such as the SAGB to match-fund European Fisheries Fund bids. We are confident that our successful projects will offer widespread benefits across the shellfish industry."

The nine projects continued from the previous IPF round include investigation into the ecology and biology of the flatfish megrim and the conclusion of a project into cod larval rearing. The King Scallop Dredge Design Competition has also been funded again to encourage new gear designs with reduced environmental effects.

Seafish has been impressed by the quality of this year's IPF applications and pleased to get the new projects up and running, after having to wait for the outcome of a Supreme Court case regarding levy collection before proceeding.

Dr Williams continued: "Today's announcement is exciting for us, as it clearly signals that Seafish is back onboard, adding value to industry exactly as we wish - enabling us to support interesting and innovative projects."

The Industry Project Fund is just one of the outputs Seafish has planned for 2011 and 2012.

Dr Williams said: "The IPF is an important part of our work programme, enabling individuals and businesses to research exciting new ideas. But we are also busy planning other work within our key themes. We'll be talking to industry about our plans going forward."