Conference on future of fishing industry comes to Lyme

Martin Sutcliffe, who organised the conference, pictured centre with delegates at the Cobb Centre Fishing College in Lyme Regis

THE Fisheries Local Action Group (FLAG) UK Managing Authority Conference representatives visited Lyme Regis last week, a tribute to the work of  the Dorset and East Devon branch, and in particular, Martin Sutcliffe who organised the conference.

Martin has been a frequent visitor to Lyme Regis harbour over the past two years, as bids have been developed for funding projects to help the local fishing industry and local economy. 

Conference delegates included representatives from the UK EMFF (European Maritime and Fisheries Fund) managing bodies, the Marine Management Organisation and other FLAGs around the UK. 

The conference began at the Weymouth & Portland Sailing Academy on Wednesday, followed by a Thursday visit to the Cobb in Lyme Regis, where delegates heard about several EMFF funded projects.

These included local fisherman Steve Postles’ ‘Man Over Board Safety Ladder’, which is now pending production and roll out to fishing vessels nationally. 

Next, Steve introduced a three-day safety training course which gives entrants the basic skills they need to be able to trial the job before they have to invest in the full range of qualifications, aiding entry into the industry. Courses are already very popular throughout the South West.

Harbourmaster Grahame Forshaw showed the group the new quayside crane, which will be installed to facilitate unloading of catches and explained safety measures around the Cobb.

Dorset Coast Forum’s ‘Young & Fishing’ film, made in Lyme and focussing on one of the town’s young fishermen following his father into the industry, produced by Sophie Franks of DCF, was shown. 

Watch the film below: 

Project bids have been joint funded by WDDC, Lyme Fishermen and Boatmen’s Association and the Fishing College, and additional projects are now in the pipeline. 

For more information about Dorset & East Devon FLAG visit

Woodmead Halls
About Francesca Evans 2655 Articles
Francesca grew up in Lyme Regis and has worked in community journalism in the area since 2011, having gained a First Class Honours degree in journalism and her NCTJ qualifications at Southampton Solent University.

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