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
Iceland – Political Changing of the Guard
Iceland has a new fisheries minister, 47-year-old Gunnar Bragi Sveinsson, who was previously the country's foreign minister.
He succeeds Sigurður Ingi Jóhannsson who has become prime minister in the wake of the Panama papers scandal which forced the resignation of Sigmundur Davíð Gunnlaugsson as Iceland's PM following the offshore banking news.
However, Mr Sveinsson's fishing credentials are not immediately obvious. He studied economics and sociology at the University of Iceland and was editor of a regional newspaper in northwest Iceland for a couple of years in the early 1990s. First elected to Parliament in the 2009 general election, he is leader of the Icelandic Progressive Party in the north-west region.
He said his time as foreign minister had developed and changed his view on some issues, but was now looking forward to his new post as fisheries minister, which also includes agriculture. The industry employs about 9,000 people, about 4,900 in actual fishing and 4,200 in fish processing. But a further 25,000 people are working in fish related support sectors. The industry contributes almost 30 per cent to Iceland’s GDP.
64th British Craftsmanship Competition
We’re delighted the 64th British Fish Craft Championships will once again be held in Cleethorpes over the August Bank holiday weekend. This year the venue will be the Discovery Centre. Seafish are sponsoring the Sunday event.
This year’s event will be held on Wednesday, 28 September 2016 and is organised and co-ordinated by Seafish in association with significant stakeholders in the Humber area, around the UK and globally. The event draws interest from key people in the distribution, processing, foodservice and retail sector of the UK seafood industry.
Three main themes for 2016: the seafood consumer, aquaculture and trade.
Discussions include retail and foodservice trends, aquaculture developments, seafood trade, supply chain development, product integrity and reputation, and global outlooks.
Invaluable business networking opportunities.
An evening event at the Humber Royal on Tuesday, 27 September includes a Seafood Fayre, showcasing seafood from around the UK and local produce within Lincolnshire.
Guest and keynote speakers (to be confirmed) who will enhance the topics and themes of the summit.
The conference will be held on Wednesday, 28 September 8.30am - 4pm will be held at The Pier, Cleethorpes.
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.
Last year's Seafood Grimsby and Humber / FMA members’ survey and Grimsby Fishing Vessel Owners Association (GFVOA) survey was timely.
Whilst there was some differences, one thing the both agreed on was the importance of the fish market, but a recognition it has to be more competitive and not increase charges.
Furthermore, both organisations will continue to work together for the good ofthe industry. More recently we have agreed with the GFVOA to undertake a review of the weekly fish settlement scheme.
The weekly fish settlement (WFS) is an integral part of out local industry. I'm pleased to report the outsourcing to Seafox Management Consultants has been a success, thanks to everyone in submitting their payments advice in time. Moving forward we are assessing the FMA’s role, responsibility and risks in administrating the WFS. The settlement is unique but should not be excluded from scrutiny. The system has operated for decades on goodwill and relied on good faith and honesty from both payees and recipients, we need to ensure that still applies.
Recently the fish market management have undertaken a review of their business. Its no secret that volume has dropped, the majority of the fish is sold on a Monday / Tuesday.
Its imperative a market is retained but it has to be competitive and attractive. The dynamic of fish purchasing has changed significantly, more processors are buying direct. But, there is still a need for an auction market.
The FMA would like to see a new organisation, less shareholders, a new board and have more say in the day-to-day running.