The Company has joined Fisheries Innovation Scotland (FIS), a unique public-private collaboration between seafood experts, government and scientists, exploring new ideas for greater prosperity and sustainability in Scottish seafood. The Company takes its place alongside high-profile members from catching, processing, retail and fisheries management.
FIS was created by the Scottish Government in 2014, and since then has commissioned more than £2m project spend on multidisciplinary research and investing in people to build prosperous and sustainable fisheries
Welcoming this new collaboration, FIS Chairman John Goodlad said “FIS is known for connecting the supply chain to release untapped potential in our seafood industry. FIS’ take on innovation is about genuine collaboration to add value to businesses and communities – a goal already shared by the Fishmongers’ Company, and we’re delighted to have the support of this ancient and esteemed industry leader.”
The Fishmongers’ Company will be represented on the FIS Board by Alison Freeman, who manages the Company’s Marine Fisheries programmes. Alison has experience of innovative projects across the breadth of the UK fisheries sector. She developed the Company’s COVID-19 ‘Rapid Response Grant Programme’, and a network and funding structure to enable industry-led science.
Alison explains: “The Company is thrilled to be joining the FIS membership. We have always admired FIS’ targeted approach to working with industry to pilot and champion innovative practices that improve the sustainability of the sector. Their mantra of ‘no fishing sector left behind’ firmly resonates with us and our own work programmes. We hope that this partnership will enable us to scale up projects and share practices for the benefit of the wider sector.”
FIS projects are designed and led by its members, responding to the most pressing innovation needs for Scottish seafood. Current projects include piloting digital technology to improve traceability and verification, and understanding what alternative vessel fuels might be realistic in a Scottish context. FIS’ Smartrawl project puts Scotland at the forefront of the innovative response to eliminating discards, allowing skippers to retain commercially valuable catch. FIS supports the next generation of industry leaders though travel and study bursaries, and will host the Scottish Fishing Conference in Autumn 2022.