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Fishing Industry: Recruitment

Volume 617: debated on Thursday 24 November 2016

We predominantly deliver training for new entrants and young people through the levy body Seafish. Since 2011, Seafish has run 97 courses and trained more than 850 new fishermen. There has been a renewed interest in fishing as a career in recent years.

The fishermen in Plymouth are very positive about the future of the fishing industry post-Brexit. They want to improve the commercial fishing facilities at Sutton harbour. Will my hon. Friend find a date to visit Plymouth Trawler Agents, which manages the fish market, and learn of its plans to build a fishing academy to train the fishermen and women of the future?

As we prepare to leave the EU, the mood in the fishing industry is certainly lifting, and there will be opportunities to do things differently and better. My hon. Friend’s constituency has a very proud maritime heritage. Last year I visited the Marine Biological Association and I would of course be more than happy to visit Sutton harbour to discuss the scheme he describes.

Many of our coastal communities have suffered heinously under the common fisheries policy. Will the Minister look at the idea of an investment pot for the under-10 metre fleet to enable it to get up to speed when we leave the EU?

As my hon. Friend knows, we have the European maritime and fisheries fund, one of the EU structural funds, which will run until 2020. Looking beyond 2020, we will be developing and working to establish how best to support the industry. We have also top-sliced some of the uplift of quota linked to the discard ban this year to give the under-10s more quota than they previously had.