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02.05.06
South West fishing industry plans to hook European business

The South West of England's fish processing industry is planning to make a big splash at the European Seafood Exposition in Brussels this month - the world's biggest fish trade show (May 9-11).

Representatives of the region's flourishing and varied fish processing enterprises will make a three-day visit to the home of the European Commission as part of a high-powered promotional campaign. It will be overseen and partly funded by the South West Regional Development Agency (RDA) and spearheaded by members of two key projects committed to providing a sustainable fishing industry in the region: Seafood Cornwall and Invest in Fish South West.

Both projects will use the occasion to showcase their initiatives to representatives of the European Commission, UK Government and wider industry at the European Seafood Exposition which attracts 1,200 exhibits from over 120 countries.

"It is a show which brings together some of the biggest names and opinion formers within the fishing industry worldwide. It is paramount that our voices are heard there, it is an opportunity we cannot afford to miss," said Nathan de Rozarieux from the Newlyn-based Seafood Cornwall, which has helped put together a team of 25 delegates, including representatives of ten commercial fish processing businesses across the region.

Nathan continued: "Between 70-75 per cent of fish from the South West is exported to the continent – one of our most important markets. We will be there to help maintain our existing contracts and, hopefully, win new ones. We will demonstrate to buyers across Europe that we are serious about our industry and that we are confident it has a sustainable, long-term future."

The South West RDA and Seafood Cornwall will be providing a stand and the services of an interpreter to help visiting delegates do business.

"It means that members of the team wont have to go to the expense of providing their own stands and will leave them free to 'trawl' the show to link up with existing clients, forge new contacts and bring interested clients back to the stand to discuss what the south-west has to offer" Nathan commented.

On the second day of the show Invest in Fish, who are based in Penzance, take centre stage on behalf of the South West, hosting a cocktail reception at the South West England stand.

Invest in Fish South West is the first project in the UK to fully engage all fishing interest groups, including fishermen, anglers, scientists, retailers, restaurateurs and environmentalists. The stakeholder-led project will agree the measures needed to sustain fish stocks, the economy, and wider marine environment for the region by the end of the year.

"This is a very exciting time for the project and the show will provide us with the opportunity to share our progress and hopefully gain the support of important decision-makers in the European Commission," says Heather Squires, Project Manager for Invest in Fish South West.

The project is the first within a wider initiative, led by the World Wildlife Fund, the National Federation of Fishermen's Organisation and Marks & Spencer, which aims to provide a long term strategy for managing fishing fleets on a regional basis, taking important local characteristics into account. It is hoped that the South West pilot project will provide an example for similar projects elsewhere in the UK and Europe.

For further information please contact Nathan de Rozarieux of Seafood Cornwall on 01736 874304 or email nathan@seafoodcornwall.org.uk.

The Objective One Programme for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly has invested in Seafood Cornwall through the Financial Instrument for Fisheries Guidance (FIFG) fund.

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Editor's notes:

Seafood Cornwall is funded by the Objective One Fisheries Programme, Seafish and Cornwall County Council. It offers advice to industry on fish quality issues and is working to improve marketing and promotion of fish and seafood. Seafood Cornwall is based at the Cornwall Fisheries Resource Centre, 78b The Strand, Newlyn, contact Nathan de Rozarieux, 01736 874304. For more information about the project visit www.seafoodcornwall.org.uk.

Further details on the 'Invest in Fish SW' project please contact project manager, Heather Squires or visit the website at www.investinfish.org.uk.

The South West Regional Development Agency was established in 1999. Our most important role is to ensure the long term economic success of the region, by promoting the right skills among its workforce, the most innovative businesses, and a high quality environment. For further information contact: Diana Mompoloki, telephone 01392 229641, diana.mompoloki@southwestrda.org.uk.

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Clare Morgan
Media Relations Manager
Objective One Partnership Office
Castle House
Pydar Street
Truro TR1 2UD
Mobile: 07973 813647
Telephone: 01872 223439

cmorgan@cornwall.gov.uk

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