New partnership supporting fishing industry sets sail

Members of the Fisheries Local Action Group (FLAG).
Members of the Fisheries Local Action Group (FLAG).

A new local partnership group supporting the fisheries industry has been launched.

The Fisheries Local Action Group (FLAG) is led by Northumberland County Council and supported by North Tyneside Council.

Members of the group – along with officers from Northumberland County Council, North Tyneside Council, NIFCA and the Marine Management Organisation – officially signed a commitment to the group in the Old Low Light Building, North Shields, on Thursday.

They met the newly appointed FLAG project officer Simon Baxter, a former harbour master for Warkworth Harbour Commission, before going on a short tour of the local fishing quay.

The group is one of six in England that have £800,000 European Maritime Fisheries Funding available as a grant to support harbours, ports, fishermen, wholesalers and processors.

FLAG is made up of partners from the private, public and voluntary sectors who have an interest and knowledge of the fishing and aquaculture sector.

Coun Robert Arckless, chairman of the Northumberland Inshore Fisheries and Conservation Authority, said: “This new group is excellent news for the north-east’s fishing industry.

“It is one of our greatest assets, and it is important that we do everything we can to safeguard it.”

North Tyneside Elected Mayor Norma Redfearn said: “I am really pleased that the group has been launched.

“In North Tyneside we have fishing communities in Cullercoats and North Shields and it is important that these and others in the region are given the support they need.”

The event was also attended by the Creel Club, who support local fishing in the area. For more on them visit http://northumberlandseafood.co.uk/creel-fish-club/

To find out more about becoming a FLAG member or how to apply for FLAG funding, contact Simon Baxter at Simon.Baxter@northumberland.gov.uk or call 01670 623919.