Sustainable fishing centre of excellence launches in Scotland

by Search Gate staff. Published Wed 25 Jun 2014 15:57
New fisheries centre will support sustainable fishing

A fisheries centre of excellence that will improve sustainable fishing throughout Europe has been launched in Scotland.

The fisheries industry - capture, processing and retail - have come together with Government and scientists to establish Fisheries Innovation Scotland (FiS).

FiS, a non-profit organisation, will spearhead an on-going programme of research, knowledge exchange and innovation to help inform and shape the future governance and management of sustainable fisheries in Scotland. It will also work with similar organisations throughout Europe to develop research links.

It will be overseen by a Board of Trustees chaired by John Goodlad. John has been prominent within the Scottish fishing industry for many years and is chairman of a variety of organisations including the Scottish Pelagic Sustainability Group and Shetland Catch Ltd.

Other members include; the Scottish Fishermen’s Federation, the Scottish White Fish Producers Association, the Seafish Industry Authority, Youngs Seafood, Sainsbury’s and Marine Scotland.

All member organisations of FIS pay a minimum annual subscription fee. These funds, together with other competitively awarded funding, will be used to fund a series of applied research projects designed to place Scottish fisheries at the forefront of innovative fisheries management.

These include:

* Educational/capacity building programmes

* Short-duration projects – including exploratory studies which may lead on to more substantive projects

* Desk studies – collation, interpretation and reporting of information on a specified issue and/or subject area

* Development of improved fisheries management models

* Development and assessment of new fishing gear and techniques.

At the launch today in Edinburgh Scottish Fisheries Secretary Richard Lochhead said: “Fishing is a major industry throughout Scotland and the lifeblood of many rural communities. We have Europe’s fourth largest core sea area and 20 per cent of all EU landings were caught in our waters. Last year alone Scottish fishermen landed over £400 million of fish and shellfish and it is important that this crucial industry is protected for generations to come.

“The Scottish fishing industry has always sought to lead the way in Europe through sustainable practices. At a time of unprecedented change for the industry this is shown by the catching, processing and retail sectors coming together with government and the research sector to forge innovative approaches to managing our fisheries for future generations.

“This fulfils a Scottish Government commitment to the fishing industry to establish a centre of excellence and Marine Scotland is delighted to be on the Board of Trustees and contributing to this exciting new venture. I would like to thank everyone involved in making this happen.”

John Goodlad, chair of the FIS Board of Trustees, said: “This initiative demonstrates a huge commitment by the Scottish fishing industry towards sustainable fisheries management. I believe that Fisheries Innovation Scotland has great potential for the future.”

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