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30.08.05
Fishing Industry Leaders Back Objective One Investment

The fishing industry has reacted to recent negative reports with undeniable proof of a dynamic sector creating wealth and employment in the region. Rather than declining, the fishing industry is increasing its value to the economy of Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly. Newlyn is the largest fishing port in England in terms of the value of fish landed. The value of the entire fish catching and processing sector is £99 million which represents employment of over 5000 people and contributes 2% of the region's GDP.

The Fishing Industry Task Force, a group made up of industry leaders including processors, merchants, port managers and fishermen's representatives, published in 2001 its comprehensive strategy for change over 10 years. (Available on www.swpesca.co.uk). The Strategy is targeted to very specific projects which have to prove that they produce change before they are awarded a grant.

Sam Lambourn, Task Force Chairman said: "Don't get change muddled up with decline. It's time that people in the region realised that the fishing industry is on the up. The uneconomic parts of the industry are long gone. The size of the fleet in Cornwall has been about the same for several years now and it is bringing ashore the same amounts of fish. Investment is essential to make sure that the seafood we land gets the best possible price and to make sure that we can compete with seafood from across the world."

Objective One is the starting point to lever in other funds to deliver the Strategy. Projects cover a diverse range, from improving the quality of the catch on boats, to improving the markets at Looe and Newlyn, the set up of an industry-led cooperative promoting quality seafood from Cornwall (www.seafoodcornwall.org.uk), to the regeneration of Newlyn Harbour and Village (www.newlyn.org.uk). And looking to the future, an ocean recovery plan to identity the future sustainability of all fish stocks in the fishing grounds used by this region's vessels (www.investinfishsw.org.uk).

There is no doubt that Objective One investment is improving the economic value of the industry in the long term. So far grant aid of £6,675,000 across 213 individual projects has created 104 new jobs. The 38 fish processors supported also report new turnover of at least £22 million.

Matthew Stevens, Director of Seafood Cornwall Cooperative and MD of M Stevens & Sons St Ives, one of the fastest growing companies in Cornwall, said: "Is there a decline in the industry? No way. We had 6 staff and a turnover of £700,000 8 years ago, and now we have 40 staff and a turnover of more than £5 million. This growth couldn't have happened without assistance from Objective One. I don't see the industry slowing down, I can see so many good things happening not just in seafood but in the whole food industry in Cornwall. I am going to grow this business more and am confident about investing in this sector."

The Objective One Programme for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly has invested £5.4 million through the Financial Instrument for Fisheries Guidance (FIFG) Fund.

For further information please contact Clare Leverton of the Objective One Fisheries Programme on 01872 270333 or email: clare@swpesca.co.uk.

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Editor's notes:

Matthew StevensMatthew Stevens, a member of the Seafood Cornwall steering committee and proprietor of Matthew Stevens & Son (www.mstevensandson.co.uk) is a third generation fishmonger that has seen many changes in the seafood industry over the last 60 years. With the support of Objective One his business has become one of the fastest growing in Cornwall. He now supplies many prestigious local, national and international customers with the very best fresh Cornish fish and seafood.

Sam LambournMousehole born and fishing since childhood, Sam Lambourn is an experienced leader of fishing organisations. He negotiates on behalf of fishermen at national and European level and was previously President of the National Federation of Fishermens Organisations where he still holds a seat on the executive committee. Sam has influence locally as a member of the Newlyn Fish Industry Forum and the Chairmanship of the Cornish Fish Producers Organisation for the last 15 years. As Chairman of the Fishing Industry Task Force his role is to bring together industry leaders to drive the future development of the sector.

Background Note to the Objective One Fisheries Programme:
Cornwall's Objective One Fisheries programme will provide over £10 million from April 2001 to March 2006 to the fishing industry in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly. The funds are a mixture of EU and national funds, through the Financial Instruments for Fisheries Guidance fund (FIFG) and the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA).

The projects are approved by the DEFRA in partnership with an Objective One Fisheries Management Group, made up of local fishing sector representatives. South West Pesca Ltd assists applicants to develop projects by providing guidance and help on completing application forms and submitting applications.

Up to 40% (35% EU and 5% National) grants are available for the private sector projects and 75% grants for the public sector projects. So far 213 projects have been approved with £6,675,782.60 of funds committed to these projects.

Examples of projects funded by the Objective One Programme:

Vessel Modernisation:
Adoption of sustainable fishing methods, maximising fish quality on board fishing vessels, and improvements to crew comfort and working conditions
Improvement of fishing ports
Processing and marketing of fishery and aquaculture products
Product promotion
Projects by members of the trade of collective benefit to the fishing industry
Innovative measures
Aquaculture
Protection and development of aquatic resources by fixed of movable Structures

For further information contact, Clare Leverton, South West Pesca Ltd, Trevint House, Strangways Villas, Truro, TR1 2PA
Tel: 01872 270333
Fax: 01872 242470
www.swpesca.co.uk

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Clare Morgan
Media Relations Manager
Objective One Partnership Office
Castle House
Pydar Street
Truro TR1 2UD
Mobile: 07973 813647
Telephone: 01872 223439

cmorgan@cornwall.gov.uk

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