Every year we choose a fresh theme for Seafarers Awareness Week.
In 2019 Seafarers UK focused on raising public awareness of the UK’s vital commercial fishing industry, especially the skippers and crews of boats operating from the beaches, harbours and ports around our island nation – none of which are further than 70 miles from any UK resident!
Many of Britain’s fishing communities are in crisis. The uncertainties of Brexit combined with a raft of new legislation are seen as further difficulties in an industry already hard hit by issues such as declining catches, dwindling fleets and growing deprivation in coastal communities around the UK.
A professional fisherman’s job can be challenging, frequently facing harsh weather, hazardous working conditions, restrictions on what can be caught, and fluctuating market prices.
Seafarers UK focuses on the needs of fishermen and there are many initiatives funded by Seafarers UK that support working and retired fishermen, their families and coastal communities.
- personal flotation devices (lifejackets) with locator beacons
- professional advice on how to obtain grants for fishing and related equipment (including from the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund until 2020)
- short-term loans from credit unions
- quayside dental and health care services – as fishermen are typically working unsocial hours and have difficulty attending NHS facilities.
Seafarers UK’s vision is for fishermen to be financially resilient, healthy and safe, living and working in thriving coastal communities with a positive future.
Seafarers UK has already called upon Government to ensure that fishermen’s lives are as well protected as the fish they catch.
This plea followed in the wake of a major research project – commissioned by Seafarers UK – that focused on a diverse selection of the UK’s ports and harbours, culminating in the publication of a free 48-page Fishing for a Future report.
On Tuesday 9 July Seafarers UK – with thanks to The Fishmongers’ Company – hosted a reception at Fishmongers’ Hall in London, to promote the charity’s funding for initiatives that improve the safety, health and welfare of UK fishermen and their coastal communities.
For more information please contact Nick Harvey, Campaigns Manager, Seafarers UK, email firstname.lastname@example.org, phone 020 7932 5969.