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23 January 2017
Orkney Fisheries Association Awarded Funding for Green Fishing Project

Orkney Fisheries Association Awarded Funding for Green Fishing Project

23 January 2017

A project which could see the development of an innovative piece of fishing gear has been awarded funding from the Orkney Fisheries Local Action Group (FLAG).

The Green Fishery Development Strategist project will create a three-year post that will investigate the production of an innovative piece of gear for the sector, which will help increase selectivity on the sea bed, helping sustain the fisheries industry for the benefit of the community.

The post holder will also be tasked with developing collaborative working between fishermen, to evaluate current practise in the industry and develop consensual strategies to enable collective adaption to improved gear, practises and access to species. They will also collate data on the economic value of the Orkney fishery.

The funding has come from the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund and the Scottish Government.

Fiona Matheson, secretary of Orkney Fisheries Association, said: “ OFA are delighted to have been awarded this important piece of funding to employ a strategist. This will enable us to build on the fishermen’s-led research we have already done and mean we can hopefully deliver practical working solutions that will reduce the catches of juvenile crab and lobster, reduce fishing time and carbon footprint.”

Between the two rounds held to date, the FLAG has now committed over £280,000 of funding, totalling almost 60% of the available budget.

With 40% of the funds still to allocate, the FLAG are eager to receive project ideas which could develop new market opportunities or added value for fish products.

For example, funding could be applied for to research the possibility and sustainability of establishing or re-establish small scale fisheries in our communities, such as hand gathered winkles, cockle raking etc; or to carry out studies into the viability or help in establishing, cottage industry level added value fish products, for example pickling or seaweed products.

If you wish to learn more about the programme or would like to discuss a project idea visit the Orkney FLAG's website, or contact the LEADER Team at Orkney Islands Council on 01856873535 (ext 2811).

The next round of applications closes on 12 April 2017.