A study looking at ensuring the long-term sustainability of the regional coastal fishing industry as well as supporting local communities has been commissioned by the South East England Development Agency (SEEDA).
SEEDA has acted as a catalyst in bringing together a number of interested parties to establish changes in the industry. The aims of the South East Region Coastal Fishing Industry Study, which is being funded by SEEDA, DEFRA and the Sea Fish Industry Authority (SFIA), are to fully evaluate the current state of the industry through extensive consultation, to provide a blue print of how fishing might develop over forthcoming years, retaining greater profit for the catching and processing sectors in this region and enabling them to thrive within the quota restrictions.
Haskoning UK Ltd has been selected to undertake this research. The consultants will be spending time in the South East during the coming months in order to evaluate the current status of the industry, to understand how to develop the effective processing and marketing of the region's fishery products and to provide recommendations for potential cooperation and investment and integration with allied industries.
David Guy, a former fisherman and now the region's Fisheries Grants Officer said: â€œWe hope that all those involved with the industry will feel able to play a positive part in this study, which is intended to benefit the fishing industry in the South East.â€