Significant investment in the town’s fishing industry was celebrated at a special event on The Stade earlier this month.
Hastings Fisheries Local Action Group (‘FLAG’), a European union funded project to help fisheries, and managed by Hastings Borough Council, marked its successes at an event on June 18th.
Local councillors and other community representatives were given a talk on sustainable fishing by retired fishmongers Tush and Pat Hamilton. In addition there were presentations on the work of the action group and the Hastings Fish brand as well as a demonstration of the new ice-making machine for Hastings Fishmarket by local fisherman and market director Paul Joy.
Chair of the Hastings FLAG is Steve Manwaring who said: “The Hastings FLAG has been a tremendous success, receiving £800,000 of funding from the European Union. We have helped 19 projects, all aimed at improving the lot of our fishery, including making the fleet more sustainable, improving the environment, and improving safety.
“We have also helped fund a training programme to help aspiring seafood chefs, which has been fantastic. I have been particularly impressed, but not surprised, with the support the projects have had from the local community.”
Mr Joy added: “We have been very pleased with the FLAG, and what it has done for the Hastings fishing fleet. The ice maker received around £72,000 from the FLAG, and £18,000 from the Foreshore Trust – we couldn’t have bought it without that support.
“It produces flaked ice which is used by the fleet, supply chain, local businesses and our fish festivals. The new machine is more environmentally friendly as it uses less water and electricity than the old machine.
“We have also used FLAG funding to invest in LED lighting in the fish market, which is also more efficient and sustainable.”