Meet Our 2022 Fleet Survey Team

An introduction to the team members conducting this year's UK Fishing Fleet Survey.
Fleet survey researchers Rebecca, Sheriene, Udara, Euan, Oscar & Carlos

The Fleet Survey begins this week and will continue throughout the Summer. Fishing businesses and vessel owners have until the end of September to participate. Our team (above) are looking forward to the survey journey, talking to fishers around the UK, and finding out more about the challenges industry is facing. 

So that people can get to know our researchers ahead of their port visits, we thought we’d introduce them. We will also be releasing their location schedules on a fortnightly basis and sharing these on social media – so make sure you’re following us on Twitter, LinkedIn or Facebook to keep up with the team and where they’ll be headed next! 

Udara Nagodavithana, Fleet Survey Researcher

Udara Nagodavithana, Fleet Survey Researcher

A bit about Udara...

I am a recent graduate in Marine Biology, and I have studied fisheries throughout my four years which has led me to the opportunity to work for Seafish. 

I have a passion for fisheries as growing up I lived along the coast in Sri Lanka, where small-scale fishing communities are prevalent. As I grew up, I began to understand the importance of seafood to people’s livelihoods and culture. I've always wanted to work for an organisation that focused on the wellbeing of the seafood sector and through working with Seafish on the processing survey, I believe I am contributing to this focus. With every survey we are better able to aid informed policy development in the future.

What are your favourite seafood memories? 

My favourite memories surrounding seafood must be the traditional Sri Lankan curries that my grandma cooks. The process of making a crab curry is so vivid in my mind, from picking crabs at the seafood market to eating the curry prepared with so much love and care. That is a time in my life I miss very much.

What have you enjoyed or found interesting about the fishing sector so far?

Many people have been kind enough to share their knowledge and helped me learn a great deal about the industry. Everyone has a different story to tell, and I recently learnt a great deal about the methods used by traditional smokehouses! The wealth of knowledge people have never ceases to amaze me. I hope the insight that I have into the industry continues to grow.
Udara Nagodavithana

Sheriene Murphy, Fleet Survey Researcher

Sheriene Murphy, Fleet Researcher

A bit about Sheriene...

I have degrees in Maths, International Studies and recently completed a Masters in International Cooperation and Conflict. I previously worked in local council to advocate for individuals with debt and benefit problems and volunteered with a credit union to improve financial inclusion for members. 

I am interested in international cooperation- the issues that cross borders and how agreements are made. Moving into the seafood industry may seem like quite a change from my past experience, but I was attracted to working in the Seafood industry as it touches on so many areas I am interested in- sustainability, livelihoods and the impact of government regulation. Fish don’t stop at borders, but laws and negotiations do. The impact of those decisions can have large effects down to the individual level.

What are your favourite seafood memories?

Growing up in Australia, I used to go beach fishing with my dad. I was rubbish at casting off- never got the knack for it. But Dad taught me how to fillet what we caught and BBQ it to perfection.

What have you enjoyed or found interesting about the fishing sector so far?

Talking directly to those in the industry. I have been lucky to have some great conversations and learn new things about the industry, alongside better understanding the challenges and successes they are facing. I’m grateful for those who take the time to tell me about their business.

Rebecca Spain, Fleet Survey Researcher

Rebecca Spain, Fleet Survey Researcher

A bit about Rebecca... 

I am currently studying a degree in Natural Sciences with the Open University. Modules on marine ecosystems and their services particularly interest me as I am fascinated with the role of biodiversity in providing ecosystem resilience, and the importance of sustainable fishing practices in maintaining them. 

I enjoy travel and experiencing different cuisines, as well as outdoor activities including surfing, fishing, foraging, and camping. I have spent a large amount of my childhood in Southwest Cornwall around fishing harbours, markets and seafood restaurants with their diverse fish and shellfish species, which further sparked my interest in the seafood sector. 

What are your favourite seafood memories?  

My favourite seafood memories are of summer evenings spent in Marazion, Cornwall, fishing the bay with my brother in hope of catching a Mullet. Although we have had little success, occasional luck brought us the excitement of filleting and cooking our catch on the chiminea with grandad.

What have you enjoyed or found interesting about the fishing sector so far? 

I have found it exciting to learn about the varying species caught in different UK ports as well as different types of boats and methods used. There is so much to learn and understand in this industry which I hadn’t previously considered. 

Euan Newgreen, Fleet Survey Researcher 

Euan Newgreen, Fleet Survey Researcher

A bit about Euan... 

I am a recent graduate in Economics from The University of Edinburgh, and I also have experience in conducting research on behalf of third sector organisations. 

As an economist, I’m interested in the efficient allocation of scarce resources. An issue integral to the long-term sustainability and success of the UK fishing industry. Being involved in helping to achieve the goal of sustainable fish stocks combines my problem-solving skills with a vested interest of continuing to enjoy delicious seafood. I previously worked in a thriving seafood restaurant specialising in lobster thermidor, this broadened my young mind to the possibilities presented by a sustainable UK fishing industry. A bonus of working in the seafood industry is to learn more about how to motivate a younger workforce to ensure true longevity, an area I’m particularly interested in following my dissertation on labour economics. 

What are your favourite seafood memories? 

I recall a special birthday meal we prepared for a friend in Edinburgh. The local fishmongers we visited was replenished daily with fresh seafood from Peterhead. Seared tuna with salsa verde, king prawns cooked in garlic and chilli, and crispy sea bass ensured the party was a roaring success. And goes to show nothing beats fresh seafood cooked to perfection. 

What have you enjoyed or found interesting about the fishing sector so far? 

Upon studying the questions contained in the upcoming fleet survey, I was surprised by the myriad of factors influencing the health of the fishing sector. Learning of such industry sensitivity reinforced the importance of the work conducted by Seafish. I can’t wait to get out and about to hear what everyone has to say.

Oscar Wilkie, Fleet Survey Researcher 

Oscar Wilkie, Fleet Survey Researcher 

A bit about Oscar...

I’ve worked at Seafish for 3 years after joining to help with fleet data collection in 2019, and this is the 4th fleet survey I’ve been involved in. Whilst not out conducting surveys I work in the economics team and amongst other things I help produce the fleet economics report each year, which is based on the data collected in the fleet survey. I also edit Quay Issues, our magazine for the catching sector – if you’d like to receive either of these or think you have a good story for Quay Issues, please get in touch. Outside of work I like to spend as much time outdoors as possible and I play and follow cricket avidly!

What are your favourite seafood memories?

One of the many great things about the fleet survey is that there is the opportunity to sample seafood dishes all around the country, from local and traditional plates to consuming vast quantities of fish and chips! From trying my first Whelks in Kent, to Cuttlefish, Coley and Witch, I’d like to think I do pretty well with seafood on the fleet survey. If you have any suggestions of things I need to try, I’d love to hear them!

What have you enjoyed or found interesting about the fishing sector so far?

I learn new things about the fleet every day and that always keeps me on my toes! The diversity, complexity and ever-changing nature of the fishing fleet means there is never a dull day.

Hannah Graham, Fleet Survey Assistant

Hannah Graham, Fleet Survey Assistant

A bit about Hannah... 

I am in my final year at the University of Strathclyde, studying Law and Human Resource Management. I have a strong interest in employment relations and through working in hospitality and in my studies, I have thoroughly enjoyed cooperating and working within teams. From this, I am looking forward to aiding the field researchers as a survey assistant and ensuring they are supported in their travels. 

I have always valued the environment and sustainability which is why Seafish and the organisation’s involvement in helping to preserve and expand the seafood industry intrigued me – as well as the fact I enjoy seafood! 

What are your favourite seafood memories?  

My earliest memory of seafood is the summers I spent on holiday with my family in a small town in Crete called Plakias. When I was little, before I enjoyed seafood, I remember being freaked out at all the fish my older siblings would order at the tavernas – like octopus tentacles – it is funny to look back on now. 

What have you enjoyed or found interesting about the fishing sector so far? 

Learning about the fleet survey process and the importance of the data it produces was very insightful; I understand the scale and importance of the fishing industry a lot more now. 

Enquiries

If you have questions about the survey or enquiries about how industry estimates could be used to support your business, please contact the Fleet Survey team on:

E: fleet.survey@seafish.co.uk   

T: 07870 894 035