£400,000 makes fine haul for fisheries projects

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A new fishing heritage trail, a crab processing plant in Holderness, and “escape gaps” for juvenile lobsters are among projects to have netted a share of a £400,000 funding pot.

The trail, which will see an information centre and sculptures going up round Bridlington Harbour, to help visitors understand its long and fascinating history, has been earmarked £65,000 from the Fisheries Local Action Group (Flag).

A new company GWS Seafoods initially hopes to employ five people when it opens a crab processing plant at Waxholme near Withernsea. The £24,000 it stands to get – subject to final sign off by the Marine Management Organisation (MMO) – will go on equipment like fridges and chillers.

Ray Williamson, from Flag, said: “A lot of the crab which is caught locally goes out of the area and there is very little processing activity happening, which is crazy. We are talking about producing high quality processed products, not just crab meat.”

Another £8,500 will go on a pilot project in Hornsea to put steel “escape gaps” into shellfish pots, allowing immature lobsters to escape.

At Easington £5,000 is being spent to help fishermen move a clifftop compound, which has fallen victim to coastal erosion. A grant of £35,000 will go on tracking devices to go on all the vessels in the fleet as part of a mapping project which should help in future negotiations with wind farm developers. All the schemes still have to be ratified by the MMO.

Flag chairman Coun Arthur Hodgson said: “We are supporting the Bridlington Bay fishery which is a prime fishery for the world as far as crustaceans are concerned. If you go to most places on the Continent it will be Bridlington Bay shellfish that you are eating.”