Industry Panels come together to shape the future of Seafish

Posted by Paul WIlliams, Chief Executive on 26 July 2012

The Seafish Panels are our new mechanism for giving industry direct influence over the work that Seafish carries out and for looking at how we use the levy. They are made up of representatives from all the different industry sectors pulled into three separate Panels, covering Domestic and Exporters, Importers and Processors, and Supply Chain and Consumers.

The Panels have had their first meetings and have already given us a good lead on the kind of work Seafish should be doing in the future. We led into this by asking the members what they saw as the issues that were important in their sectors and which Seafish could potentially affect. We then asked them to prioritise the issues, firstly working as a group, but then individually. This allowed us to see an overall industry opinion, but also gave people the opportunity to raise the profile of issues that were perhaps of importance to their sector but neglected by the wider industry view.

It was interesting to see how much agreement there was, not only between the different Panel members, but also between the different Panels. There were three issues that came out most clearly. Firstly, promoting the consumption of seafood and improving consumer understanding of seafood; secondly, working to improve the reputation of our industry; and, finally, ensuring that industry has a voice in developing legislation and regulation. Of course, there were a number of other suggestions that we are addressing, including responsible sourcing, safety at sea and fisheries management support.

We are now busy translating the industry issues list into some proposals for practical work programmes. These will go back to the Panels for further review and we will be meeting up again in early August to find out if the Seafish proposals are hitting the right targets. To make sure that everyone gets a chance to see what we are proposing, and to talk to Panel members and influence the process, we have put the suggested work programmes on the Seafish web site. The names of the Panel members are also on the web site as are details of how you can get any comments through to them.

Paul Williams, Chief Executive

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