Marcus Coleman's December '17 blog

Posted on 12 December 2017

As another Seafish year draws to a close, inevitably I take a few moments to reflect on the support we have been providing to the industry over the past 12 months.

As everyone knows we cover a whole host of issues and subject areas but some of the stand-out highlights include:

  • A hugely successful (award winning) Seafood Week with retail sales value up 8.3% in that week, that's £10m up on the same week last year!
  • The 100th vessel signed up to the Responsible Fishing Scheme. These 100 vessels landed 27% (by weight) of all UK vessel landings in 2016.
  • Gear technology developments to improve selectivity especially in relation to the Landing Obligation challenges faced by the Nephrops fleet.
  • Additional species profiles developed for the Risk Assessment for Sourcing Seafood (RASS) tool to assist seafood buyers.
  • A partnership with Bangor University; part of an international effort to improve understanding and management of trawling impacts on the seabed.
  • The successful hosting of Young Seafood Chef of the Year in Grimsby, giving youngsters from all over the UK a flavour of what it is like to operate in the seafood food service and restaurant trade.
  • Our Economics Team winning a Chartered Institute of PR award for their 'Quay Issues' publication. Super recognition for a team that consistently publishes high quality research and investigative work.
  • Providing vital support for fishermen by securing £1m of funding from MCA and EMFF to support non-mandatory fishermen's training courses.
  • We trained 180 new entrants via our three week 'Introduction to Commercial Fishing' course which was run 20 times this year.
  • Onshore training delivered over 1000 course certificates too, covering all aspects of seafood handling and preparation.
  • Our Marine Survey team received 86 applications for new vessel surveys, a good indicator of optimism in the sector.
  • Our Kingfisher Information Service has created fantastic new video training materials displaying the risks involved where fishing gears interact with sub-sea hazards.

And then I could mention our work on Brexit matters, our careers events, our teams in the Home Nations, support at international trade shows, market insight work, general seafood marketing activities and our Regulation team. The list goes on and on.

Looking to 2018, we get off to a rip-roaring start with the 30th edition of the National Fish and Chip Awards in London in January. I suspect this is the biggest and most energetic seafood celebration in the world - prove me wrong if you can!

It will set us up for a terrific 2018 that will see us start on a new Corporate Plan designed to ensure we deliver our support in the areas that matter most to our stakeholders. Please, please try to get involved where you can in our activities and make sure you sign up to receive the valuable information we make available - see the Seafish website for details.

Wishing you a happy festive period and a prosperous New Year,