The fisheries industry - capture, processing and retail - have come together with Government and scientists to establish Fisheries Innovation Scotland (FiS).
FiS, a non-profit organisation, will spearhead an on-going programme of research, knowledge exchange and innovation to help inform and shape the future governance and management of sustainable fisheries in Scotland. It will also work with similar organisations throughout Europe to develop research links.
It will be overseen by a Board of Trustees chaired by John Goodlad. John has been prominent within the Scottish fishing industry for many years and is chairman of a variety of organisations including the Scottish Pelagic Sustainability Group and Shetland Catch Ltd.
All member organisations of FiS pay a minimum annual subscription fee. These funds, together with other competitively awarded funding, will be used to fund a series of applied research projects designed to place Scottish fisheries at the forefront of innovative fisheries management.
• Educational/capacity building programmes
• Short-duration projects – including exploratory studies which may lead on to more substantive projects
• Desk studies – collation, interpretation and reporting of information on a specified issue and/or subject area
• Development of improved fisheries management models
• Development and assessment of new fishing gear and techniques
Richard Lochhead said at the launch this week: “Fishing is a major industry throughout Scotland and the lifeblood of many rural communities. We have Europe’s fourth largest core sea area and 20 per cent of all EU landings were caught in our waters. Last year alone Scottish fishermen landed over £400 million of fish and shellfish and it is important that this crucial industry is protected for generations to come”