Seafarers Awareness Week

Seafarers UK has coordinated and promoted Seafarers Awareness Week annually since 2010.

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.

These include:

  • 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.

In 2020 Seafarers Awareness Week will be 6-12 July, culminating on Sea Sunday, when church congregations are invited by Seafarers UK’s beneficiary charities Apostleship of the Sea (Stella Maris) and Mission to Seafarers to make cash donations to support seafarers in need and their families.

For more information please contact Nick Harvey, Campaigns Manager, Seafarers UK, email, phone 020 7932 5969.