Testimonials from the Fishing Communities

Funding for the set-up of the MADE in Mourne Company (Kilkeel)

“We are extremely grateful to WOMF for their donation as without it we wouldn’t have been able to secure the building. The landlord had another interested party, but we were determined to get in. As soon as we were able to tell the community that we had the building and had set a 100 day target for launch, the project had credibility and the community swung into action and we made it happen. Without the WOMF believing in us and the project, it wouldn’t have happened. Full stop. So we are extremely grateful. As you can see from the website and our facebook page, the end result is spectacular. The locals can’t believe how amazing it looks. In turn this has resulted in great footfall, strong initial sales and artists, crafters, artisans and small businesses already making money. This will be spent not just on their company growth, but locally on dance lessons and football boots for our children, to feed our families and to support other local businesses we spend our money in. Fishing communities like Kilkeel don’t just want projects like this, they need them. This really works and we look forward to keeping in touch to show you how it develops. On behalf of the Mourne community, thank you”.

Jenna Stevenson, Founder and Managing Director,  MADE in Mourne (2017)

Funding for Northern Ireland’s Fishermen professional training

” On behalf of the five fishermen from the ports of Portavogie and Kilkeel, we at SFITA (NI) Ltd would like to pass on our gratitude to WOMF Ltd. It has been a pleasure to have been involved in facilitating a Class II Certificate of Competency (2nd Hand Full) for five young men from NI in conjunction with BIM in Greencastle. We are delighted to have been able to fully fund this course with the help of SEAFISH, DAERA and WOMF, and are grateful for the support provided via NIFPO and ANIFPO to enable the men to achieve this qualification. This is a fantastic opportunity for the men to progress their careers at sea. 

Juanita Emerson, Training Manager SFITA (NI) Ltd (2017)

” I would like to express my thanks to WOMF ltd for agreeing to help support me in gaining my Class II qualification, which will help progress my career at sea. Their help is a real benefit to me at this time.”  Matthew Donnan

” I am very grateful for the help provided by WOMF Ltd to allow me to sit my Class II (2nd Hand Full) Certificate.  It is a great financial strain to undergo a course of study for this length of time, and all help is appreciated.”  Rob Donnan

” I would like to extend my thanks to WOMF Ltd for their contribution towards my Class II COC. The support given enables me to further progress my ambition to gain this qualification.”  Jack Coffey

” The generous offer of financial help made by WOMF is very much appreciated and gives me a great opportunity to gain a qualification that will help me enhance my skills as a fisherman”  Andrew McConnell

“A big thanks to WOMF ltd for the support they are providing to help me in developing my skills and it is really appreciated.”  Stephen McMurray

North Irish Fishermen undergoing professional vocational training (2017)

Kilkeel Strategic Partnership

“On behalf of Kilkeel Strategic Partnership, I want to express our thanks for the funding from The West of Morecambe Fisheries Fund. This funding has been invaluable in supporting us, in taking the “Kilkeel Harbour Project” forward.

We have now a robust, viable business plan, in place, which has been independently appraised by the Strategic Investment Board for NI and received positive support. The preliminary de-risking phase has also been completed. This is a £35m project which is based around the vision of a much larger and more dynamic harbour, able to grasp the opportunities that exist in the fisheries and related industries. We hope to now move forward to the next phase, which includes the Environmental Impact Assessments, over the next few months.

The importance of the support received from the West of Morecambe Fisheries Fund cannot be over emphasised in helping this voluntary group in its aim of promoting a sustainable and viable fishing industry and community in Kilkeel.”

Geoff Hooks, Chairperson Kilkeel Strategic Partnership (2017)

Funding for Northern Ireland’s Fishermen professional training

“The industry will greatly benefit from new entrant skippers in the profession and will help to ensure the fishing industry is sustainable with a number of aging skilled skippers needing to be replaced. It also opens up opportunities for new entrants to join the industry ensuring the industry has a future”

Harry Wick C.E.O. Northern Ireland Fish Producers Organisation & Alan McCulla C.E.O. Anglo North Irish Fish Producers Organisation (2017)

Hornsea Fishermen

” This back-up tractor alleviates the worry and pressures of a tractor breakdown, especially during the peak fishing season, when such a vehicle breakdown can result in significant losses to earnings. The tractors we all use are hard to come by, as they need to be mechanical in operation and have minimal electrics in order to withstand the harsh environment in which we launch and recover our fishing vessels.”

Andy Faichney, Hornsea Skipper and Fisherman (2017)

Funding for Heating system in Fishermen’s training facility and mission

“ We now have heating installed throughout the building. It’s made such a difference to the comfort of our workplace. We’re not the only ones who benefit; fishermen who come here for safety training or to use the Fishemen’s Mission facilities benefit too”

Juanita Emerson, Sea Fish Industry Training Association (NI) Ltd (2017)

Cat Smith M.P.

“The West of Morecambe Fisheries Fund has provided much needed support to local fisherman. It is good to see industries that share our seas with fishermen supporting their work, and the communities they come from.”

Cat Smith M.P. Lancaster and Fleetwood (2017)

The Greater Wash Fishing Industry Group

“We are a fishing community committed to sustainable fishing, so that our fish stocks remain viable, both now and for future generations. We welcome the financial support provided by the West of Morecambe Fisheries Ltd to our organisation. This support enables us to further progress our ambition of gaining the MSC (Marine Stewardship Council) accreditation for our brown shrimp fisheries in the Greater Wash area.”

Andy Roper (2017) (Chairman) The Greater Wash Fishing Industry Group

R/V Huntress (Holderness Fishing Industry Group)

“ This year, the West of Morecambe Fisheries company has been able to fund our survey of stocks of crabs and lobsters in the Westermost Rough wind farm. This funding massively helps to fill a potential gap in our data series that has been collected since before the wind farm was built. Fishermen in HFIG are always very interested to know about what we are catching during these surveys. It keeps the Huntress and crew busy during the summer months, as the survey runs continuously from June through to September.”

Jamie Robertson (2017) Skipper R/V Huntress (HFIG)

Wirral Fishermen

We have now purchased the hiab trailer ready for the cockle season which is starting 1st July we are know up and running as agents for a processor also we have had a successful shrimp season with the new boat thanks again for giving us the chance to make this work it’s much appreciated thank you”  Chris & Mike Triggs

“I can honestly say I would not have been able to fit the shop out without this grant”  Keith Marland

“Thank you for helping sorting out the payment for the boat, and thank you for paying on time, you where a great help sorting out any problems and making sure it was done right”  Stephen Hill

“Thanks again for all your help” John Wood

Wirral Fishermen (2017)

Whitehaven Fishermen’s Cooperative

“The donation provided through the West of Morecambe Fisheries Ltd is of enormous benefit to us as it provides an opportunity for us to purchase a larger refrigerated vehicle which allows us to send our catch further afield with the prospect of improved prices. The acquirement of a Fork Lift Truck is a most welcome addition and replaces our 12 year old truck for which we extremely grateful”

Ron Graham (2017) Chairman, Whitehaven Fishermen’s Cooperative

Northern Ireland Fish Producers Organisation

“These two new forklifts will be of real benefit to the fishermen of both Ardglass and Kilkeel. The Northern Ireland Fish Producers Organisation is grateful to the West of Morecambe Fisheries Ltd for the financial support towards their purchase”

Dick James (2017) (CEO) NIFPO

Holderness Fishing Industry Group Ltd, East Yorkshire

“This support from DONG Energy (now known as Ørsted), through the West of Morecambe Fisheries Company, has made it possible for me to join the HFIG team and to finally make their plans for a lobster hatchery and research facility a reality. Thanks to this funding, we have been able to take the final steps needed to begin an ambitious programme of research and stock enhancement projects that will make a positive difference to the future sustainability of the Holderness fishery”.

Dr John Terschak (2016) Holderness Fishing Industry Group, East Yorkshire

B & M Fishing LLP (Fleetwood)

“B & M Fishing LLP would like to take this opportunity to thank the wind farms for their contribution to us … and we appreciate the good communication”

Anne Bynham (2016) Director, B & M Fishing LLP, Fleetwood

N.F.F.O. , Fishing Industry Representative (Irish Sea)

” I have personally witnessed WOMF at work, here in the Irish Sea. It has funded a series of very worthwhile projects that continue to benefit the fishing industry and has helped forge constructive relationships with the developers of Offshore Wind Farms in the region. The feedback that I get from fishermen is very positive and I would like to see this continuing on into the future”

Tom Watson (2016) NFFO, Irish Sea Fishing Industry Representative

Sea Source – A.N.I.F.P.O. (Kilkeel)

“Yet again the West of Morecambe Fisheries Ltd has provided our fishermen with a significant dividend, this time in the shape of modern transport that will facilitate frequent and reliable delivery of the freshest seafood to our customers all around Northern Ireland. As we continue to strive towards maximising the value of the sustainable harvest from the Irish Sea, the West of Morecambe Ltd is helping to ensure the development of an economically viable fishing industry that will be of direct benefit to all fishermen operating in the area.”

Alan McCulla OBE (2016) Chief Executive of ANIFPO/Sea-Source

Fleetwood under 10’s

” A big thank you from the Fleetwood under 10’s for our recent funding from the West of Morecambe Fisheries Ltd. We have now purchased our liferafts, McMurdo fast find EPIRBS and our insulated fish boxes. We will shortly be purchasing our landing winch”

Steve Newsham (2015) Fleetwood under 10’s

JA Graham (Shellfish Merchants) Cumbria

” We would like to express our thanks to West of Morecambe Fisheries Ltd for the partial award to assist us with the purchase of a refrigerated vehicle. This will enable shellfish purchased along the west coast of Cumbria to be transported at the correct temperature”

Gillian Graham (2015) JA Graham, Seasacle, Cumbria

A.N.I.F.P.O. – Sea Source

“Fishermen’s catches will not be getting any bigger in the forseeable future, so it is vital we maximise the value of our landings. Thanks to the West of Morecambe Fisheries Fund, the delivery of Sea-Source’s packaging machine will allow us to start retail sales of the best Irish Sea fish and shellfish, thus helping to maximise the economic return to local fishermen”

Alan McCulla OBE (2015) CEO,  A.N.I.F.P.O., Kilkeel, Co. Down

Sea Source (Offshore) Ltd

“Sea Source would like to thank the West of Morecambe Fisheries for their financial support. This support will help fishermen to diversify and help sustain the local fishing community. Northern Ireland fishermen are fully supportive of the fund and wish to see it continue”

Davey Hill (2015) Offshore Manager, Sea Source (Offshore) Ltd

Morecambe and Heysham Fishermen’s Association

“On behalf of the 14 fishermen whom will benefit gratefully from the donation for the purchase of M.O.B. safety devices and insulated boxes, I wish to pass onto the West of Morecambe Ltd, a huge thank you for making their working environment a safer and more hygienic place”

Trevor Owen (2015)  Morecambe and Heysham Fishermen’s Association

Northern Ireland Fish Producers Organisation

“Northern Ireland Fish Producers Organisation is grateful to the West of Morecambe Fisheries Ltd for the support they are providing to help Irish Sea fishermen develop and reinforce their skills and qualifications, which will enhance the links between the fishing and offshore renewable industries”.

Judith Farrell (2015) NIFPO – Kilkeel

National Federation of Fishermen’s Organisations (N.F.F.O.)

” The West of Morecambe Fisheries Fund is demonstrating an exemplary approach of how marine developers can work together with existing fishing communities. The fund is helping to transform what may initially and understandably be seen as source of anguish and a potential threat by local fishing communities into something that helps to foster positive relationships and provide much needed support to fishermen so they can maintain and improve their businesses. It offers an important contribution to achieving co-existence between two industries operating in the same marine space.”

Dale Rodmell (2014) (Assistant Chief Executive) NFFO

Maryport Fishing Company Ltd

” We would like to thank West of Morecambe Fisheries for the award towards the purchase of a new ice machine and chiller. This will help the local fishing community to keep and improve the quality of their catch” 

John McAvoy (2014) (Director) Maryport Fishing Company Ltd.

Whitehaven Fishermen’s Co-operative Ltd

” We would wish to place on record our sincere thanks for the vision and confidence displayed by the developers in agreeing to our application . This generous offer of financial support by the West of Morecambe Fisheries will be of real benefit for fishermen fuelling up at Whitehaven harbour. The positive response by the West of Morecambe developers to our application to the fund is testament to the belief that wind farm operators and fishing communities can work together “

Ron Graham (2014). Whitehaven Fishermen’s Co-operative (Director), Chairman of the National Federation of Fishermen’s Organisations NW committee.

Holderness Fishing Industry Group Ltd

” The Holderness Fishing Industry Group is grateful for the support received from West of Morecambe Fisheries Ltd for our ongoing programme of fisheries research. HFIG represents fishermen, merchants and processors on East Yorkshire’s Holderness Coast. The data we collect on the status of the region’s valuable crab and lobster stocks is vital in ensuring the future success and sustainability of the biggest crustacean fishery in the UK and protecting the hundreds of livelihoods that depend on it. Our research is conducted from our dedicated survey vessel MV Huntress – a unique venture, owned and operated entirely by HFIG and crewed by a mix of professional scientists and experienced fishermen.”

Mike Cohen (2014) (CEO) Holderness Fishing Industry Group Ltd.

Barrow and Furness Fishermen’s Association

” The Barrow and Furness Fishermen’s Association was very kindly supported with a grant  from the West of Morecambe Fisheries Ltd. The grant covered 50% of the cost of a new ice plant at our base near the Dock Museum in Barrow in Furness, which is utilised by the local fleet.  Support from the MMO and the EFF secured the balance of funding (50%). The National Federation of Fishermen’s Organisations (NFFO), through a Trust Fund Grant made a further contribution to the project.

A number of boats operate from Barrow, mooring up at the back of the Dock Museum. The fishermen’s catch is shipped off to be sold in Fleetwood when it arrives on land and has to be transported to Fleetwood Fish Market. The fishermen had to buy ice to keep it fresh during the fishing and transportation process. This was an uneconomical procedure, which was reliant on an outside third party. With the installation of the new ice plant (which also acts as a refrigeration unit), approximately 750kg of ice can be produced per day thereby reducing the risk of loss of catch. This also has an addition benefit that the association and its members are compliant with Food Hygiene regulations.

This process has had a huge impact on the local fishing industry, ensuring that catches are kept cool and fresh whilst being transported to Fleetwood. Currently the Association has ten members, but with the improved facility there are opportunities to recruit more members who in the long term will have a positive outcome for the association and for the local economy. Without the support of WOMF Ltd, the Association and its members would not be able to move forward and the impact of increased costs, loss of income and less members, would have had a negative impact on the association.

We would like to once again thank the West of Morecambe Fisheries Ltd for the support  given us and hope that we could all work together in the future regarding funding and further projects that are beneficial to the fishing fleet.”

Gary Pidduck (2014) Secretary of the Barrow and Furness Fishermen’s Association

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