Wessex Archaeology has received £92,400 from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) for an exciting project, Fishing Industry Protocol for Archaeological Discoveries: Establishing a Historic Environment Fisheries Liaison Officer. This project proposes the appointment of a Heritage Lottery Fund supported ‘Historic Environment Fisheries Liaison Officer’ (HEFLO) working in Sussex to engage with fishing communities to protect heritage.
Wessex Archaeology is working in partnership with Sussex Inshore Fisheries & Conservation Authority; Joint Nautical Archaeology Policy Committee and the Chairman of the National Federation of Fishermen. The project is set to run for the next two years.
It has long been known that fishermen make archaeological discoveries. What is lacking is guidance on how these important discoveries can be reported and protected.
Through working with local partners and engaging with communities that rely on the sea, the HEFLO will raise awareness of how heritage discoveries made during fishing should be reported. The first year of the project will focus on establishing relations with the fishing community. In the second year the aim is to share the knowledge and understanding gained from the fishing community with schools, local societies and the wider community.
The project aims to create a legacy of engagement with heritage. It is as much about engagement with the fishing industry – and the communities it supports – as it is about increasing archaeological data.
Commenting on the award Euan McNeill of Coastal & Marine said: "We are delighted that the HLF are supporting this initiative and look forward to working with Sussex IFCA and the local fishing communities to enhance our understanding of our shared submerged heritage."
Stuart McLeod, Head of HLF South East, said: "Thanks to National Lottery players, we are excited to support this unusual project that has the potential to make a real difference to the way new artefacts discovered at sea are reported and protected."