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Help develop East Anglia’s fishing strategy

Posted by East Suffolk Communications Team on 15 April 2019 | Comments

The Renaissance of the East Anglia Fisheries (REAF) partnership is asking local people in the fishing industry to help develop a long-term strategy for the area.

The REAF project is a partnership between East Suffolk Council, Norfolk County Council, Suffolk County Council, Lowestoft Fish Market Alliance and Seafish.  Peter Aldous MP has been instrumental in establishing and supporting the partnership’s objectives at the local, regional and national level.

REAF was founded on the belief that the local fishing industry and the coastal communities in East Anglia should be able to enjoy the benefits of the rich fisheries in the area.

The aim of the project is to develop a long-term strategy for East Anglia’s fishing industry, with Lowestoft as the main regional hub and explore how economic and social benefits of the fishing industry can be captured and optimised locally and regionally.

June Mummery from Lowestoft Fish Market Alliance said: “The support we have received from the MMO, Seafish, East Suffolk Council and a tumultuous number of people from across the fishing industry has been terrific. This work will give the East Anglian fishing community a real shot in the arm and we really hope as many fishers participate in this work as possible to drive the future of the fishing industry forward.”

The project will be delivered over a three stage process:

  1. Gather information and data to analyse the current situation and speak to local people in the industry to get their views;
  2. Look at different options to determined what can be done to improve the fishing opportunities, including bringing more jobs to the region and revitalise the industry;
  3. Finally, create a clear plan to deliver the necessary changes needed in East Anglia.

REAF has successfully applied to Marine Management Organisation for a European Maritime and Fisheries Fund grant, which is now in place and Vivid Economics have been appointed to help prepare the long-term strategy.

The strategy will cover all sectors within the fishing industry – from catching the fish at sea and fish farming to retail and restaurants. It will also include markets, merchants, trading, transport, ports and other infrastructure, services, storage and processing.

REAF believes that it is important to understand all aspects of the fishing industry properly in order to deliver a strong strategy, so it will also include associated businesses such as handlers, vessel repairs, electrical services and equipment suppliers.

Paul Wood, Head of Economic Development and Regeneration at East Suffolk Council, said “We hope this work will be a real game changer for the future of the fishing industry across East Anglia and urge everyone with an interest in the future of the industry to get in touch with us.”

There are a number of different ways in which you could be involved, from commenting on proposals and offering ideas via email and social media to participating in interviews and attending workshops. If you would like to know more or get involved in the REAF project, contact East Suffolk Council on 03330 162000 or email reaf@eastsuffolk.gov.uk