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February 21, 2012

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Funding boost for fishermen’s safety

A joint project involving the offshore oil and gas and fishing industries has secured a European grant to help it improve the safety of fishermen operating in UK waters.

FLTC Services Limited (FLTCS) delivers safety information to fishermen about seabed structures and equipment related to oil and gas activities on the UK continental shelf (UKCS) through its FishSAFE Information Project.

The company has now secured a grant of up to £413,250 from the European Fisheries Fund and the Scottish Government to fund the scheme’s development, previously known as KIS-UKCS.

Describing how the project helps improve the safety of fishermen, Niall Scott, executive chair of FLTCS, said: “The information gathered will continue to be delivered via plotter systems on vessels. It is also deployed in FishSAFE units, which fishing boats use to detect their position in relation to oil and gas-related surface and sub-sea structures in UK waters. Fishing nets can become caught on these structures, so their detection is instrumental in improving the safety of mariners.”

He went on to explain how the funding will help improve the system: “This funding will enable us to investigate how best to capture information on new offshore assets and decommissioned assets and to review the processes used to capture and disseminate information to fishermen.

“The funds will also support a two-year research and development project into the potential for providing similar data for other European Union member states and Norway.”

FLTCS – a subsidiary of UK Fisheries Offshore Oil and Gas Legacy Trust Fund Limited – brings together representatives from the Scottish Fishermen’s Federation, the National Federation of Fishermen’s Organisations and Oil & Gas UK. It also receives support services from the Sea Fish Industry Authority.

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