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FLAG funding kicks off new projects

FLAG funding kicks off new projects
Posted : December 12, 2017

The Dorset and East Devon Fisheries Local Action Group (FLAG) grant programme have had their first three projects approved for funding. The projects include providing an innovative safety ladder for 50 lone working fishermen, a pilot sea safety course that will allow fishermen to test the water before committing to the industry and some fishermen’s huts to help preserve small scale coastal fishing in the beautiful Lulworth Cove.  The FLAG launched in March 2017 and aims to support the fisheries, aquaculture and related sectors in communities along the coast from Swanage to Beer. The FLAG board, who decide on project funding, is made up of local industry and community representatives who vote on how the funding is allocated. Since March, the FLAG team have been working hard with local communities to develop projects for funding.

Steve Postles from the Fishing College said “The College has been involved in two projects with the FLAG and with the funding from the MMO, we have just been able to complete the first three day pilot course to deliver sea safety training. We had an excellent response from the first pilot course.”

He added, “The new safety ladders, made by Fibrelight, will help in a man overboard situation and 50 vessels in the flag area have taken part in the project and will be receiving a safety ladder shortly. Both projects are well under way and this would not have happened without the help of the Dorset East Devon FLAG and the MMO.”

Two new fisherman’s shelters will be built at Lulworth Cove to help ensure that the long tradition of small scale fishing from the Cove will continue into the future. The shelters will help keep the fisher’s gear secure and remove the potential health and safety risk. A brand new electric winch will also be installed to make hauling up safer and easier for the fishermen. Joe Miller, a Lulworth fisherman, said “The new huts will tidy up the area and make it safer during the summer months and keep our fishing gear secure.” He added, “The new winch will make hauling out much easier and the project will move the facilities at the Cove into the 21st century.”

The FLAG have also helped to develop a research programme that will study the role of Wrasse in South West waters and reefs. The FLAG team also help fishermen with applications for funding for health and safety equipment, vessel improvements and replacing gear with more sustainable alternatives.

The fund is seeking a wide range of applicants throughout the seafood industry, from fishermen to seafood restaurants, processors, charities and community groups. Projects can relate directly to fishing or the seafood industry, fisheries management or the marine environment. Applications are particularly invited for projects that benefit the fishing and coastal communities, boost locally caught seafood or increase aquaculture activity in Dorset and East Devon. If you would like to find out more or have a chat about a project or idea please contact Dorset and East Devon FLAG at dorseteastdevonflag@dorsetcc.gov.uk, visit www.dorsetcoast.com/projects/FLAG or call 01305 224833.

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