National survey to give a voice to fishing communities

June 23, 2017

Maritime charities Seafarers UK and Cornwall Rural Community Charity (CRCC) are working together to carry out a UK-wide project to survey fishermen, their families and fishing communities. The survey aims to understand community and individual needs and challenges better, and to identify examples of projects or activities that are working to tackle these.

UK fishing communities have been in a process of gradual decline and increasing social isolation over the last 40 years, with many suffering profound deprivation. Although there are extensive published papers on many aspects of the industry, there is little by way of a detailed understanding of the welfare need on the ground and the contemporary challenges facing fishing communities across the UK.

This collaborative project involved undertaking face-to-face interviews during port visits around the UK since August, with a wide range of people to identify what clear themes and issues need support and resourcing. Upcoming planned visits will be taking place on the following dates across the UK:

Individuals, local projects or local community representatives can find more information about the survey and the locations project team will be visiting, by searching for @FishermensVoice on Twitter or Fishermen’s Voice on Facebook. Those still interested in having their views captured via a personal interview – or who would like to complete a survey – should email the project team at or phone 01872 243559.

Peter Jefferson, CEO of CRCC, said: ‘This community based, interactive project aims to listen to fishing communities around the UK so as to gain a deeper understanding of their needs, helping to develop well grounded project ideas that will then address those needs.

Barry Bryant, Director General of Seafarers UK, said: ‘Seafarers UK is seeking to understand better the needs of fishing communities. We instigated and funded this innovative work as part of our increasingly proactive grant making. We are very confident that we have chosen the right partner organisation to carry out this work.’

CRCC has worked extensively with fishing communities in Cornwall and currently delivers the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Fisheries Local Action Group. In addition CRCC has significant experience of delivering community led projects across the UK and at EU level.