The Icelandic ambassador to Britain made a surprise visit to the Humber Seafood Summit last night – and brought with him a message of assurance that his country’s links with the Humber remained firmly intact.
Thordur Aegir Oskarsson was in the Humber area to visit Icelandic seafood businesses. But he also took the opportunity to visit the seafood summit’s pre-conference reception where the best of local seafood was on display.
He said: ’It is true we are now processing more of our own fish, but the strong links with Grimsby and the Humber are still in place and I am confident this will continue.
‘The UK is our most important market when it comes to fish exports and I don’t see that the situation will change.’
The ambassador said Brexit and the resulting fall in the value of the pound had made fish imports to the UK more expensive, but he thought that things would even out over the medium term.
Ambassador Oskarsson said Iceland’s fishing industry was currently in good shape, with excellent cod stocks. Haddock, a firm favourite with Grimsby fish merchants, remained a problem, but there were signs the stock was improving.
Okay, I know we’ve had the referendum and Brexit means Brexit. But a reminder that until we do leave there is still EU funding for the industry. The European Maritime Fisheries Fund (EMFF) is open in England.
Applications for funding are initially sought for: support with elements of CFP reform, improving health and safety on vessels, enhancing the quality or value of catch, investing in port and harbour infrastructure such as ports/auction halls/shelters, the processing of seafood and aquaculture products and general investments in aquaculture.
The scheme will open for other measures later this year but these initial areas cover over €33m of EMFF funding.
The MMO have made significant efforts to ensure support is in place for scheme users including a new e-application system, redesigned website and dedicated customer helplines.
However, I’d recommend seeking professional advice from a funding expert, Liz Baghurst, Director of Funding & Grants,
Seafox Management Consultants Ltd.
Tel: +44 1472 361623
Mob: +44 7817 471 525
Yorkshire and Lincolnshire Seafood Training Network are holding an event at the Grimsby Seafood Village Training School on 2nd August 2016. This will be an opportunity to discover the benefits of participation in the Network and supported training activities. Advisers will be on hand to discuss opportunities for apprenticeships, training and greater participation.
Membership of the Network is free and open to any seafood businesses and training providers in the region. There will be refreshments at 1200 hrs, a series of short presentations and the launch itself at 1345 hrs. The event will finish at 1400, although there will be opportunities to talk to Network partners, advisers and other employers after this time.