2017 Annual Report: Fishing, Fish Processing and Aquaculture

Milford Fish Docks

Landed tonnage in 2017 lifted slightly (7%) to 2,990 tonnes. However, issues continue and are reflective of the wider UK industry experience; notably poor weather shortening the opportunities for time at sea, and quota issues limiting what can legally be landed.

The Port is engaging at a national level to address industry issues. There is intense focus on the challenges and opportunities created by Brexit, and the real need to secure Welsh quota and maximise fleet investment in order to secure a strong future for the Welsh fishing industry.

A new petrol pump facility has now been installed alongside the existing diesel facility to enhance onsite operational activities for the fleet. Following on from feedback gained through a fishermen’s survey conducted by the Port, options are being looked at that extend the onsite facilities even further.

The Port also received funding to undertake a smart grid project in the fish docks (piSCES) which will deliver lower energy costs for the onsite fishing industry. With a view to improving fishermen’s safety beyond the docks, the Port launched its own Fisherman’s Safety Fund in 2017 designed to act as match funding, allowing fishermen to leverage access to European funding. The focus will be on increasing awareness of the fund in 2018.

Aquaculture

The Port recognises the importance, and potential, of aquaculture on the Milford Haven Waterway and is investing resources accordingly. Building on the seminar held in 2016, the Port is working with nine companies with a view to developing aquaculture across west Wales. On the ground, a new small-scale shellfish processing business has started up on site, with a bio-science project specifically looking at Slipper Limpets taking space at Pembroke Port. Additionally, both seaweed and native oyster projects have commenced in the Haven. Looking to the future, the Port is seeking to conduct an initial feasibility study (a European Maritime and Fisheries Fund application is underway) for an aquaculture village utilising shared services, equipment and resource planning. It is also in the process of applying for Interreg funding for an Aquacoast project that will model species viability in key regional sites.

The Port’s long term aim is to establish itself as a key operational hub for the landing, farming and processing of seafood and biomaterials in the UK. This clustering is a key part of maximising operational efficiencies, adding value and securing industrial resilience. A key step towards this aim took place in 2017 when the Port secured a grant from Welsh Government's Ports Development Fund for a shellfish supply chain feasibility study. The study will research opportunities, develop models and produce a business plan supporting the potential establishment of the Port as a live seafood supply hub connecting Wales and Ireland to major European Markets.