A new chapter for the Seafish Wales Advisory Committee | Blog | Seafish

A new chapter for the Seafish Wales Advisory Committee

New Chair Graham Black shares his experience of working with the Welsh seafood industry and what he is hoping to achieve in his role.

Back in summer 2023 I was delighted to take on the role of Chair of the Seafish Wales Advisory Committee (SWAC). This is part of my wider remit as a Seafish Board member.

As a Board, ensuring that we are delivering support to our stakeholders wherever they are in the UK is crucial. The network of Seafish Advisory Committees also provides a great service to the Seafish Board as they help us maintain a weather eye on the changing landscape in which the UK seafood industry operates. This allows the organisation to remain agile to the challenges and opportunities industry encounter.

Getting to know the industry in Wales

As the new Chair of SWAC, my priority has been getting to know the people and businesses who are vital to the seafood industry in Wales.

Back in August 2023, I made a trip to South Wales with Seafish colleagues Lynn Gilmore, Helen Duggan and Noemi Donigiewicz.

Three people, including Graham Black on the left, standing smiling together in a room
Graham (left) on his visit to South Wales in August

We had the opportunity to meet several stakeholders including Jim Evans of the Welsh Fishermans Association, representatives from the Fishermen’s Mission and Syren Shellfish. We also saw firsthand some of the fantastic aquaculture research underway at Swansea University.

A further visit to Bangor in north Wales in early 2024 saw us take part in the third in a series of Welsh Government-funded Health, Safety and Wellbeing workshops. We also visited more dedicated people from across the seafood sector including mussel farmer James Wilson, representatives from the Lobster Pot in Anglesey and safety expert and Chair of the Wales Fishing Safety Forum, Trevor Jones.

Understanding the needs of the industry in Wales

Through all the discussions and meetings over the past few months, people have generously shared their insights into the challenges faced right across the sector in Wales. They have also demonstrated their passion for a thriving future for the industry there. There is a desire to innovate and an understanding of what needs to be done - from industry, Government and the Universities too.

Getting under the bonnet of the challenges and opportunities available to the Welsh seafood sector is very much on our radar here at Seafish. We recently started working in partnership with Welsh Government and the seafood industry on a ‘Task and Finish Group’ to support the Seafish Wales Advisory Commitee. The goal of the group is to create a realistic and achievable action plan for positive change in Welsh seafood supply chains. This is a chance to get some momentum for improvement and I was delighted to recently attend the first sessions of the group.

People standing in groups inside a hall during an event
Welsh fishermen at a health, safety and wellbeing workshop in Milford Haven.

Ensuring seafood is part of the wider food and drink discussion in Wales is also crucial.

I was recently appointed to Food and Drink Wales Industry Board. The purpose of the Board is to grow, promote and enhance the reputation of the Welsh food and drink industry. I am hopeful I can provide a useful service to the seafood sector by bridging in discussions from the ‘Task and Finish Group’ and the Seafish Wales Advisory Committee and ensure seafood is well represented in this key Welsh forum.

I look forward to my complementary roles on the Seafish Board, SWAC, and the Food and Drink Wales industry board and engaging with and supporting the seafood sector over the coming years.

Get in touch

For more information on our work in Wales you can contact either:

Noemi Donigiewicz

Industry Engagement Manager - Wales
telephone: 0131 380 4572
mobile: 07773 001 663
email: noemi.donigiewicz@seafish.co.uk


Helen Duggan

Head of Industry Engagement
telephone: 01472 252 347
mobile: 07943 557 650
email: helen.duggan@seafish.co.uk