Strategic Review of Seafish in 2021

Our 2021 strategic review has concluded following consultation with industry and Government. We have made recommendations to shape our future.

As a public body, Seafish is required to undertake regular reviews. Over the last 18 months, the Seafish Board, in collaboration with the four UK Government administrations, carried out a review into the future of Seafish.  

The review was informed by consultation with the seafood industry. This was done through a series of workshops and online consultation with our seafood industry stakeholders.    

Our purpose at Seafish is to give the UK seafood sector the support it needs to thrive. The Strategic Review has given us a fantastic opportunity to ask industry and Government how we can work in partnership to achieve that aspiration.    

What are the main outcomes of the Strategic Review?

We are pleased to say the Strategic Review has given us a strong steer and mandate going forward and a renewed sense that industry need our support now more than ever.    

There were three clear outcomes from the consultation:     

  1. We asked industry the fundamental question - Does Seafish need to exist? Industry and Government told us there is an overwhelming need for Seafish to keep supporting the seafood industry to thrive.    
     
  2. Our current work programme was widely and positively endorsed, and we got a clear steer on the highest priorities for industry right now. We have listened and we are focusing our efforts, making sure our resources are directed to deliver with impact on the issues that matter most.     

  3. Industry acknowledged that, to move forward with purpose and ambition, we need to be funded to deliver the support they need. This means we will be working with Government to reform the Seafish levy over the next few years. 
Watch our CEO Marcus Coleman explain more about what industry told us during our Strategic Review.

How will the Strategic Review outcomes be taken forward?  

The Seafish Board has produced a list of recommendations that will help us meet the needs of the seafood industry and Government.     

The recommendations cover:    

  • Our function (‘What’ Seafish will deliver based on industry priorities);     
  • Our form (‘How’ Seafish will deliver on our priorities, engage with stakeholders across the UK and ensure we have the right governance arrangements in place);    
  • Our funding (ensuring Seafish is financially viable into the future).

Our function

What industry told us  

Industry recognised that we live in times of resource scarcity and that Seafish is currently spread too thin. They urged us to be more focused on key priorities. This would ensure we can ‘deliver with impact’ and have the discipline and resolve to resist pursuing activities where we can’t add sufficient value, or where other agencies are better placed to deliver. 

Through the consultation, the seafood industry also told us there are six areas they want more of our support with:  

  1. Workforce issues  
    They want our help to access and support safe and skilled workforce.  
     
  2. Reputation 
    The seafood industry is increasingly responding to a range of societal and environmental challenges. Whether that be on the impacts of fishing on the marine environment, marine pollution, microplastics, human rights and ethical issues, animal welfare issues or the environmental credentials of seafood. They have asked us to do even more to support them in managing these challenges.   
     
  3. Climate change  
    Industry needs our help to support them in adapting to and mitigating the effects of climate change and, where possible, reduce the industry’s carbon footprint.  
     
  4. International Trade 
    Our stakeholders are looking for support in helping them address trading challenges whether that be navigating regulatory changes, exploring new markets, or fostering good relations between trading countries.  
     
  5. Insight and Innovation  
    Industry value the data, analysis, research and advice that we provide which supports them in making good business decisions.   
     
  6. Fisheries Management 
    Our work in facilitating collaboration between industry, government and scientists to improve fisheries management outcomes is valued and even more important as we find our way as an Independent Coastal State.  

   Recommendations  

  • As a result of the demand for more focus on the issues above, we are making immediate changes to some of our existing activities. The most significant change is we are stopping consumer marketing activity through Love Seafood. 

  • Industry have told us that we can’t have the desired, wider impact with our current resources and therefore the Seafish Board has decided to stop our consumer marketing through the Love Seafood brand.

  • To support this work, we increase our resource and investment to research the reputation issues that matter. This will build the evidence base that can support the industry. We will communicate our reputation work to the industry to ensure it lands with measured impact. 
Still from climate change campaign film - text says 'what climate change means for our seafood industry' over image of fishing vessel
We will do more work and campaigns on climate change to help the seafood industry to adapt and mitigate.

We will also embed these following Key Principles relating to our function to ensure: 

  • We only use levy funds to deliver products and services where there is a clear value proposition to the UK seafood supply chain.  
     
  • We secure financial support when asked to deliver a service or support projects on behalf of government. Particularly when the function we are being asked to deliver is the statutory responsibility of another organisation. 
     
  • We will proactively access government grant programmes or third-party funding opportunities that are aligned to the delivery of its core functions. 

Timescale   

Our Love Seafood activity will start to wind down from 1st April 2022. We will reallocate the budget and people over the next few months to focus on the priorities industry have told us matter most to them.   

Our form

What industry told us  

The industry told us they value our engagement across the UK and it was clear that there is an opportunity to build on existing strong relationships with the devolved administrations.   

Recommendations  

Implementing the findings of the Strategic Review will address:  

  • Outdated governance arrangements by updating our Framework Agreement and moving our corporate plan cycle from 3 years to 5 years.  

  • Deliver increased partnership opportunities with the four UK administrations.
     
  • Consolidate Seafish’s position as the only organisation working across the seafood supply chain and across the UK. We will ensure that the work of our ‘central teams’ is communicated locally and that our staff around the UK work hard to connect local stakeholders to the support that matters most to them.   

Timescale

We will aim to have the above recommendations in place for our next corporate plan which we will publish in April 2023.  

Our funding

What industry told us

Our industry and Government stakeholders recognised that the system, rates and the approach to collecting the Seafish levy has not changed in 20 years and needs reform.   Stakeholders told us they want a fair approach.   

Recommendations    

We will ask the Government to:  

  • Amend legislation to create a more agile and responsive system. 
     
  • Adjust levy rates where appropriate to ensure the levy collected can support the delivery of our priorities and commitments. 
  • Review inclusion of all product forms and species within the remit of the levy to achieve a fair and inclusive levy system.   

Timescale    

This will all need legislative changes which we expect to take several years to complete. However, we will start this process later in 2022. There will be more consultation with industry on any proposals. 

Get in touch

If you have any questions about our Strategic Review, please email seafish@seafish.co.uk