Two Pembrokeshire projects have secured funding from the UK Government to help boost the local fishing sector. The Port of Milford Haven and Car Y Mor have both received notification today of their successful awards from the UK Seafood Fund Infrastructure Scheme round two.
MP Stephen Crabb has welcomed the grants that have been awarded by DEFRA, who has today set out further steps to deliver a thriving, sustainable fishing industry and heathy marine environment for generations to come in by introducing post-Brexit funding.
The Port of Milford Haven has been awarded £2.6 million to deliver a suite of interlinked, major regeneration works at Milford Fish Docks, including the construction of a new pontoon for 25 to 30 inshore fishing vessels. This will boost capability to sustainably land, process and add value to produce for local, regional and international markets.
The Love of the Sea Ltd, based in St Davids has received £1.1 million to expand seaweed production facilities by developing a seaweed processing unit with storage, equipment, shop and an educational hub.
Seizing the opportunities of the freedoms outside the EU, the UK is introducing a world class system of fisheries management which draws on the best available science and the expertise of UK fishermen to ensure our fish stocks are healthy and sustainable long into the future.
Stephen Crabb MP said,
“ I’m delighted to hear the announcement that “For The Love Of The Sea Limited” (CârYMôr) has been successful in being awarded over £1million from the UK Seafood Fund: Infrastructure Scheme - Round 2. This UK Government funding will provide extra impetus to grow this exciting innovation, created by a local Community Benefit Society, which will see a Seaweed biostimulant Refinery built in St Davids.”
“I was pleased to see the Port of Milford Haven is receiving over £3 million in funding from UK Seafood Fund: Infrastructure Scheme - Round 2. This important funding will support the regeneration of Milford Fish Docks and will provide new pontoons, storage, an ice plant and moorings for the inshore fleet. Fishing remains an important industry in Milford Haven, and this funding will help keep the facilities the industry needs up to date.”
This new system will be underpinned by Fisheries Management Plans – blueprints for how best to manage fish stocks – with the first six published today, including bass, king scallops, crab and lobster; amazing produce which we are renowned for around the world.
These management plans – developed together with industry and anglers over 18 months – deliver commitments from the Fisheries Act 2020 and will help to build a modern, resilient fishing industry while securing sustainable fish stocks. These plans will be a combination of actions that can be taken now to protect stocks – such as seasonal closures or further scientific studies – and longer-term approaches, using the latest scientific evidence so we have the most productive and sustainable sector possible.
Today’s announcement includes a boost for the small under 10 metre vessels which are the lifeblood of our coastal communities, making use of our post Brexit quota increases by removing a cap on the amount of quota they can use and opening up more potential income for smaller businesses.
Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, Thérèse Coffey, said:
“The UK has some of the finest fish stocks in the world, forming an integral part of healthy marine ecosystems while providing livelihoods, enjoyment and prosperity to coastal communities.
“Today’s reforms mark a clear departure from the outdated Common Fisheries Policy now we are an independent coastal state, and will deliver the UK’s ambition to build a modern, resilient and profitable fishing industry underpinned by sustainable fish stocks and a healthy marine environment for the future.”
Mike Cohen, Chief Executive of the National Federation of Fishermen’s Organisations, said:
“For centuries, fishing has produced food, provided jobs and supported communities. Measures to strengthen fishing businesses and enhance their sustainable growth will bring tangible benefits to the UK.
“Fisheries Management Plans represent a genuinely ambitious attempt to break away from the unsuccessful top-down impositions of the CFP and unite fishers, scientists and regulators in building something new and better. Fishermen’s livelihoods depend on healthy seas and sensible regulations. We welcome this opportunity to collaborate in shaping them.”
These reforms will play a crucial role in achieving the goals in our Environmental Improvement Plan and the UK Government’s Food Strategy, helping to improve food security as well as levelling up some of our much-loved coastal towns and communities.
Today’s announcement builds on the progress which the UK government has already made to deliver a thriving fishing sector outside the EU. The UK government successfully negotiated a significant uplift in quota shares following EU exit, valued at around £101 million in fishing opportunities to the UK fleet this year alone. Meanwhile the UK Seafood Fund is investing £100 million into the long-term future of the UK fisheries sector, helping to drive innovation, support job creation and boost seafood exports to new markets.
Defra and partner organisations are running online and in-person events throughout August and early September for those with an interest in the commercial and recreational fishing and the marine environment, to find out more about the reforms and how they can respond to the consultations. All events will be listed on Eventbrite.