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Funding success for Dorset & East Devon FLAG

Funding success for Dorset & East Devon FLAG
Posted : February 20, 2018

A further four projects have been approved for funding by the Dorset and East Devon Fisheries Local Action Group. An important study to look at the needs and opportunities for the commercial fishing fleet in Weymouth has been approved. This is to ensure that, as the area surrounding the harbour is developed and with increased competition for space, the industry continues to be supported and can work out of the harbour for years to come.

Keith Howorth, Harbour Master at Weymouth, said “The commercial fishing sector is well recognised around the town and it is important that the needs of the fleet are considered as the town regeneration plans are developed.” He added, “Many tourists visit the area to see the unloading of fish in the summer and it really adds to the atmosphere of the quayside year-round. This study will help the Harbour Authority consider the needs of the commercial fleet in the plans and continue the tradition of small scale fishing in Weymouth”.

The FLAG will also support the refit of a commercial fishing vessel in one of Dorset’s coastal communities. The vessel will be brought up to modern standards and fitted with a new deck, new hand rails and equipment to help the fisherman haul their catch. The refitted boat will enable an out of work fisherman to return to work and help grow a local business.

A brand new Emergency Positioning Indicating Radio Beacon or EPIRB and Personal Locator Beacons (PLB’s) will be purchased for another of Dorset’s small scale commercial fishing boats and its’ crew, helping to keep the crew and vessel safe while at sea.

Geoff Marsh, a Swanage fisherman said, “The help that the FLAG has given me to provide this equipment for my vessel and my crew has been invaluable, not only in providing funding but also in helping to fill out the application forms. We often work in large swells and knowing that, should the worst happen, the EPIRB and PLB’s will help the emergency services is great, not only for my and my crew’s peace of mind but for our families’ too”

Another project to be approved is being coordinated by the Dorset Coast Forum in conjunction with award winning film producers Butterfly Effect, who will produce a number of short films about careers in the fishing industry. The films will help to raise the profile of the fishing industry and related sectors and will highlight training and career opportunities in the local area. They will be shown across the Dorset and East Devon region towards the end of 2018 and will be publicly available to all including schools, colleges and universities.

Bridget Betts, Dorset Coast Forum co-ordinator, said, “With these movies we really want to highlight the fantastic, sustainable seafood available around our coasts and how people can get into the industry and start careers for themselves.”

She added, “The premier events will allow the public to interact with the stars of the show and give people the chance to sample some of seafood that is found locally.”
The Dorset and East Devon FLAG is working hard to deliver the goals set out in the Local Development Strategy which was developed with stakeholder consultation. Projects can relate directly to commercial 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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