Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly lie at the very south-western tip of Britain and are home to some of the most unique coastal features in the United Kingdom. The fisheries sector here is very diverse and versatile in terms of methods and target species, compared to other locations in the UK. Boats vary from beam trawlers to small cove boats. Methods include beam trawling, crab/lobster potting, gill-netting, longlining, drift-netting, scallop dredging, ring-netting, hand lining etc.
The sector lands over 50 species including crabs, lobster, scallops, cod, turbot, haddock etc. Besides fisheries, other important economic activities in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly include tourism and agriculture.
The key challenges the area faces would be the lack of new entrants into the fishing industry, lack of knowledge and awareness of locally caught species and the need to boost business along the supply chain. There is also concern around engagement with the regulatory environmental agenda for fisheries.
11 Special Areas of Conservation (SAC), Three Marine SACs (Falmouth and Helford SAC, Isles of Scilly SAC, and Plymouth Sound & Estuaries)
The Cornwall and Isles of Scilly FLAG will have three themes within its strategy:
Within these three themes the FLAG has four priorities:
Project examples include
The FLAG has experience in assisting fishermen in direct selling, innovation with digital technology for marketing and sales, training young people and tourism.
They are interested in co-operation concerning diversification, use of fish waste and underutilised species, social research and supporting women in fishing.
The FLAG membership includes Cornwall County Council, the Cornwall Maritime Manager, Inclusion Cornwall, Hayle Harbour Authority Ltd., Looe Fish Market, Cornwall Marine Network, Seafood Cornwall Training, Surfers Against Sewage, Newlyn Pier and Harbour Commissioners, the Isles of Scilly Fishermen’s Association, Looe Harbour Commission, Clean Cornwall, Cornish Fish Producers Organisation, Mevagissey Harbour Trustees, Cornwall Community Rural Council (CRCC), Seafish Industry Authority and the Hayle Fishermen’s Association.
The FLAG receives advice on a regular basis from Natural England, Finistere Council (France), MMO, Cornwall Development Company and the Cornwall Rural Community Charity.