New project to develop innovative fishing gear

Kirkwall Harbour with fishing boats
Norette Ferns

The Orkney Fisheries Local Action Group (FLAG) has awarded funding to investigate the development of an innovative piece of fishing gear.

A three-year post will be created by the Green Fishery Development Strategist project. The post-holder will look into the production of equipment for the sector which will help increase selectivity on the sea bed, helping sustain the fisheries industry.

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.

Fiona Matheson, secretary of Orkney Fisheries Association (OFA), 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."

The funding has come from the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund and the Scottish Government. The Orkney FLAG has now committed over £280,000 of funding, totalling almsot 60 percent of the available budget. The FLAG are eager to receive project ideas which could develop new market opportunities or added value for fish products.

If you would like to find out 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 (extension 2811).

The next round of applications closes on 12 April 2017.

Photo credit: Greg Bandur, Flickr Creative Commons