Seafarers UK has hosted an event to mark the launch of a new programme of work aimed at improving the financial resilience and mental wellbeing of the fishing community.
The event was inspired by recent report, ‘Fishing Without a Safety Net: The Financial Resilience of SmallScale Coastal Fishers, their Families and Communities’, produced in tandem with Liverpool John Moores University which reveals the bleak economic reality of small-scale fishers in the UK.
Fisheries Minister, Victoria Prentis MP, who contributed to the event by recorded message said that small-scale fishing was a cornerstone of local coastal communities around our shores. “I hope that the insights that this report provides will assist in improving the financial health and resilience of our fishermen across the country, as together we tackle Covid-19 and embrace the opportunities ahead as an independent coastal state,” she said.
Despite the report exposing a devastating picture, the event was optimistic. Deborah Layde, grants director at Seafarers UK, outlined ten recommendations including the implementation of a national action plan to address the social, economic and environmental issues faced by the small-scale coastal fishing fleet, schemes to support new entrants into the sector, a fair pay campaign, and access to competitively priced products such as pensions and insurance through group purchasing.