The NFFO has produced the first of a series of four podcasts, using the Fathom platform, that will be broadcast in the first weeks of 2022.

The Fathom podcast is run by the Cornish FPO, but is available online to all in the fishing industry, not just its own members.

The first of the NFFO series, looking at the funding available to the fishing industry as part of the £100m UK Seafood Fund, is now available here.

In this first episode, NFFO CEO Barrie Deas and CFPO CEO Chris Ranford discuss with Defra’s Alistair Moseley the various ways in which working fishermen can access funds and contribute to collaborative science that will benefit the industry.

Introducing the discussion, Barrie Deas acknowledges the successful outcomes that have been achieved since the genuine involvement of the fishing industry in generating collaborative research – not simply through fishermen providing data to scientists, but in developing the ideas and subjects for research partnerships with industry.

The Fisheries Industry Science Partnership (FISP) scheme aims to improve and share knowledge of fisheries and aquaculture by funding data collection and research to support sustainable fisheries management. Funding is available for the development of research ideas – so fishermen don’t lose out on expenses for travel to meetings and so on – whilst a second tranche of funding is available for the research projects developed between scientists and fishermen.

The fishing industry, and working fishermen in particular, have always found applying for funds to be complex and time-consuming, with reams of paperwork and forms that can be baffling, as the podcast explores. It highlights the FISP Network, which comprises Fishing into the Future, the Fishing Animateurs and the Fishmongers’ Company’s Fisheries Charitable Trust, as ideal agents to support applications, alongside organisations such as the CFPO.

Commenting on the FISP, Barrie Deas said: “In all of these funding programmes, the proof of the pudding is always in the eating. The key indicator that we’ll be looking at is whether the different parts of the industry welcome this as something that’s useful and relevant to their businesses, their fisheries, their lives, or whether it’s something that channels the funding in a different direction that doesn’t benefit the industry – for us that’s the key, and that’s where the scrutiny must lie.

“Fisheries Management Plans are a potential area for the FISP to focus on, given that virtually all fishermen have a stake in plans relevant to their activities. Defra is receptive to this idea, and though the scheme is quite broad at present, it retains capacity to narrow its focus for future rounds.”

Further information about how to apply for funds through the scheme is available here.

This story was taken from the latest issue of Fishing News. For more up-to-date and in-depth reports on the UK and Irish commercial fishing sector, subscribe to Fishing News here or buy the latest single issue for just £3.30 here

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