Page last updated at 09:04 GMT, Friday, 30 May 2008 10:04 UK

Seafood 'university' opens doors

Humber Seafood Institute [artist's impression]
The institute was the brainchild of former trawler skipper Sydney Keane

A 5.7m seafood "university" is being officially opened in Grimsby.

The Humber Seafood Institute, based on the town's Europarc business campus, aims to develop new products and technology for the seafood industry.

Grimsby MP Austin Mitchell said: "The institute is part of a necessary upgrading of the fishing industry to prevent it stagnating."

Celebrity chef Anthony Worrall-Thompson will help launch the site with a live cookery demonstration.

Mr Mitchell, who is chairman of the Yorkshire and Humber Seafood Group (YHSG), said the institute would help provide the skills needed to meet future requirements.

The Humber region is the core of seafood processing in the UK
Professor Mike Dillon, Grimsby Institute

"The decline in catching means processing is becoming the more productive side of the industry," he said.

"The sector has operated on a shoestring for too long but it's now concentrating on developing new products."

The Institute's aim is to provide research into "cutting edge" frozen food technologies and to enable seafood companies to trial new products.

It is made up of a processing hall, rapid testing unit, shelf life testing unit and development and demonstration kitchens.

One of its wings is named in honour of former trawler skipper Sydney Keane, who first raised the idea of developing a centre of seafood excellence in the port.

Professor Mike Dillon, vice principal at the Grimsby Institute, said the Humber region was "the core of seafood processing in the UK".

The Institute would respond to industry needs, deliver expert support and state-of-the-art facilities, he added.

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