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Invitation for Nominations to Manx Seafood Branding Steering Group 4 May 2007

The Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry have announced that they are inviting Manx seafood producers and retailers to assist the Department to finalise plans for the development of a new Manx seafood strategy and a Manx brand which is intended to gain Manx seafood the national and international reputation that it deserves.

Minister Phil Gawne, MHK, said ‘All sectors of the Manx seafood industry- fishermen, processors and retailers, have a great deal to be proud of. Manx seafood has established an enviable reputation for its high quality throughout Europe. The Department would like to help the industry to capitalise on this, through the development of a quality assured Manx brand which will guarantee consumers and wholesalers that they are buying a top of the range food, from a sustainably managed fishery’.

The Department has issued adverts in the press this week, inviting nominations for a steering group whose remit will be to further develop existing plans to create a quality assured seafood brand. Initial discussions will concentrate on the sources of funding available, and the potential costs of developing and maintaining the brand.

Graham Cregeen, Member for Fisheries, commented ‘The Department, in its role as manager of fisheries within the Territorial Sea, is itself open to scrutiny. I am confident that the range of sustainable fisheries measures that we have introduced, in partnership with our industry, means that the Isle of Man is already better placed than our competitors to take advantage of the growing requirements of the market for top quality seafood from sustainable sources.’

The announcement follows on from presentations to the industry from Nathan de Rosarieux, project Manager of Seafood Cornwall, and Crick Carleton, a fisheries consultant working closely with this and several other similar projects. The presentation focussed on the benefits to fishermen, processors and consumers from a drive in Cornwall to improve the quality and sustainability of the fish and shellfish landed there, through the creation of an easily identifiable logo and quality assurance scheme, that stretches ‘from the net to the plate’.

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