The area comprises 14 settlements with fishing activity from North Shields in the south to Berwick-upon-Tweed in the north, covering a distance of approximately 105 km, with a coastal population of 72,728, and with over 150 people directly in the fishing industry. Throughout the region there are 38 trawlers and 81 potting vessels.
The southern stretch of the coast comprising the settlements of: North Shields, Cullercoats, Seaton Sluice, Blyth, Newbiggin-by-the-Sea and Lynemouth is mainly urban in character. There are 29 trawlers and 29 potting vessels operating throughout this section. Fish processing is mainly centred around North Shields which is home to the only fish market in the area. North Shields is developing a tourist industry centred around the fish-quay and has attracted significant investment in tourism and hospitality.
The northern stretch of the coast comprising the settlements of: Amble, Boulmer, Craster, Low Newton-by-the-Sea, Beadnell, Seahouses, Holy Island and Berwick-upon-Tweed is rural in character. Nine of the trawlers and 52 of the potting vessels operate in this area. Amble and Seahouses are the main areas of fishing activity throughout this sector. There is a tourism industry throughout the northern sector with the Farne Islands a major asset.
The whole area struggles to retain a significant proportion of its workforce with the stock of jobs being only 41% of employees compared to a national average of 74%. It also deals with the challenges of an ageing population.
A great deal of the coastline is designated as an Area of Outstanding Natura Beauty (AONB) and site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI), in additon to this there are Marine Protected Areas (MPA) and Marine Conservation Zones (MCZ).
The FLAG aims to meet the policy priorities of implementing the reformed Common Fisheries Policy and hopes to foster economic growth linked to coastal deprivation and the marine and fisheries sectors. The FLAG will ensure that any programmes of activity undertaken results in sustainable fishing practices. Programmes will be innovative, leading to new or substantially improved products, processes and equipment. The FLAG will work with all applicants to select projects which are complementary to other projects avoiding conflicting aims and outcomes.
Expressions of Interest may be submitted via the FLAG animator for project advice and prior to the full application stage. This is optional but recommended.
Projects may be presented on an ongoing basis for considaration at FLAG meetngs throughout the year.
The North of Tyne FLAG is interested in projects focusing on marketing, branding, processing and job creation throughout the fishing industry.
FLAG members include several local commercial fishermen, the Coast & Lowlands LEADER, Northumberland county council, North Tyneside council, the Royal National Mission to deep sea fishermen, the Amble development trust, Natural England, Alliance fish Amble Ltd, Caley fisheries ltd, North Shields fish quay company, Northumberland inshore fisheries and conservation authority, the Anglo Scottish Seafish Industry Group Training Association, the Anglo Scottish Sea Fishing Association, Newcastle University, JR Fisheries, the North Sunderland Harbour Commissioners and the Fresh Shrimp Company.