University of Greenwich leads €4.6 million project to help regenerate fishing communities

Researchers at the University of Greenwich are leading a €4.6 million project helping to regenerate coastal fishing communities on both sides of the English Channel and the southern North Sea.

Focussing on towns and villages with traditional small scale fishing fleets, they will look at the ways local inshore fishing contributes to the identity of places and their communities, as well as seeking new sustainable opportunities to boost regeneration and economic growth.

The University of Greenwich team is headed by environmental geographers Dr Tim Acott and Dr Julie Urquhart, from the School of Science and social scientist Dr Minghua Zhao from the Greenwich Maritime Institute. They joined forces with research colleagues in France and Flanders to secure co-funding from the European Interreg IVa 2 Seas programme for the three-year project, Geography of Inshore Fishing and Sustainability.

Dr Urquhart says: “Inshore marine fishing is at the heart of so many places, whether they have just a few small fishing boats pulled up on a shingle beach or a harbour that is the centre of activity for a larger fishing fleet.

“You cannot think about places like Whitstable, Brixham or Newlyn without recalling fishing and local seafood. Inshore marine fishing is central to their identity as communities and places.”

The project was one of just 12 successful bids out of a total of 49 applications to the most recent European Regional Development Fund 2 Seas cross-border programme.

Project leader Dr Acott says: “We will be building on valuable research we have already been doing in fishing communities.

“Working with researchers in France and Flanders gives us a cross-cultural perspective and opportunities to share ideas and solutions to common problems – not least how the sense of identity within fishing communities can make a significant contribution to regeneration and sustainable economic growth.

“Our findings will help to provide the information people need to develop new activities on the ground to regenerate their communities and feed into policy decisions which will ensure a sustainable future. We are hoping to help to create a sense of shared identity in fishing places across the region.”

Plans include photographic exhibitions exploring life in fishing communities and a demonstration project of fishing heritage-led regeneration at the fishing village of Arnemuiden, in The Netherlands.

For further information contact Project Manager, Suzanne Louail.

GMI MPhil/PhD Studentship

Women’s Contribution to Social Cohesion in Coastal Communities

University of Greenwich – Greenwich Maritime Institute

Ref: PGRO-GMI-2-11

Greenwich Maritime Institute, Greenwich, London

Greenwich Maritime Institute is pleased to offer one externally funded MPhil/PhD Studentship as part of the Interreg 4a 2 Seas project GIFS (Geography of Inshore Fishing and Sustainability). The GIFS project will explore the socio-economic and cultural importance of inshore fishing including governance, economic regeneration and the cultural value of fishing, and provides an opportunity for the successful candidate to be part of a cross-border inter-disciplinary research team. The research topic will relate specifically to women’s contribution to social cohesion in coastal communities in four European countries: Belgium, Britain, France and the Netherlands and the investigation will focus on these dimensions: (1) Women’s employment, income, health and education; (2) Women’s perception and feelings of safety, security and freedom; (3) Women’s access to and construction of networks amongst themselves and with others; (4) Women’s participation in main stream institutions

The successful candidate will be working as part of the cross-border GIFS project team and will be expected to travel and participate in fieldwork, project activities and meetings in the above noted four countries.

The successful candidate will receive a £13590 per annum bursary plus a contribution of up to £4000 per annum towards the tuition fees during the term of the studentship (three years), subject to satisfactory performance. An additional £2,000 per annum will also be available for fieldwork expenses.

Applicants must hold a 1st Class or Upper 2nd class Honours Bachelor’s or Master’s degree (UK or UK equivalent) in a relevant discipline for example geography, history, woman’s studies, environmental studies, political science, sociology or anthropology. Applicants should have previous experience of undertaking research, preferably in gender studies, and ideally experience of fisheries related to European counties. Excellence in English speaking and writing is essential, preferably also with an ability to speak fluent French or Dutch.

For further information please contact: Dr Minghua Zhao,, Tel: 020 8331 7661

For additional information about the studentship and links to the application form please go to: 

The application form should be completed and returned to:  and include: an attached pdf file of a comprehensive CV and a one page covering letter explaining your interest in the project and how it relates to past experience and present motivations.

The closing date for applications is noon on 31 January 2012.