Funding for two Orkney fisheries projects

Scottish Rural Network

Two projects have been awarded funding by the Orkney Fisheries Local Action Group.

A total of just over £179,000 has been awarded to the projects by the FLAG, which is responsible for administering the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund and the Scottish Government.

The Orkney Shellfish Research Project, being run by Orkney Sustainable Fisheries, will see the continued development of locally led fishery research work through the employment of full-time marine scientists with fishermen at the centre of the process.

Funding for Orkney Fisherman’s Society (OFS) will help them look at developing ‘added-value’ products from small scale fisheries around Orkney. This will support the diversification of fishing efforts to other species and the enhancement of the supply chain.

Stewart Crichton, Chair of Orkney Sustainable Fisheries and the Managing Director of OFS says:

"The work of Orkney Sustainable Fisheries over the past seven years has helped strengthen the Orkney brand in the UK retail sector, for brown crab products from our local co-operative factories in particular but increasingly for lobster also.

"Taking local research to the next stage will help keep Orkney to the forefront of inshore fisheries management on a national level.

"There are other marine species in Orkney which we feel are underutilised at present, line-caught mackerel being a good example. OFS will employ a development chef for a 12-month initial contract period to look at these species and try to enhance the financial return both to fishermen and the local community generally."

Francesca Couperwhite, Chair of the FLAG said:

"The FLAG is pleased to be able to support these two very different but worthwhile projects. One project will look at the management of shellfish stocks while the other will develop new products from the underutilised and less commercial species in Orkney waters. Together they demonstrate the range of opportunities that this fund can support."

Fisheries and aquaculture business and organisations, as well as fisheries based communities can apply for funding for projects which will strengthen the vitality and sustainability of the fisheries sector and communities. The level of funding available will depend on the individual projects outcomes and benefits, but can be up to 100 percent.

For more information regarding the funding visit or to discuss a project idea contact the LEADER team at Orkney Islands Council on 01856 873535 ext 2811.