Research and expert groups

Seafish works with experts in seafood and beyond to coordinate groups that commission and undertake research to support the seafood industry.

Seafish Expert Panel

The aim of the Seafish Expert Panel is to assist Seafish in:

  • Commissioning scientific research and to undertake research in our own right;
  • The presentation, communication and adoption of research findings relevant to the seafood sector;
  • Supporting the industry to determine the information it needs to address business issues; and
  • Providing evidence-based advice to inform policy development and business decision making.

It will operate under a two-tier system with a central hub being supported by an expert committee.

The Central Hub

The central hub is the main engagement point between Seafish and the wider expert group. It will provide a bridge between the needs of Seafish and the wider seafood industry and the expert committee. Specifically the central hub of the SEP will:

  • Assist Seafish to provide adaptive science support to industry;
  • Provide capability to assist the sector to frame industry issues so that potential solutions can be identified;
  • Assist Seafish to connect industry/government and research institutes to establish a network of expertise with ‘reach’ across the sector;
  • Provide advice and peer review to help guide and improve the quality of Seafish outputs;
  • Help deliver the science and innovation actions outlined in the England’s Seafood 2040 (SF2040) strategy, as well as supporting the ambitions of other UK home nations e.g. Scotland’s Ambition 2030.

There are three members appointed to the central hub panel at present – see links below for biographies of current panel members. A position for an individual with expertise in behavioural science is still vacant.

Expert Committee

The central hub panel will be supported by a wider expert committee, bringing in additional expertise across a range of areas. A phased recruitment based on priority needs is currently underway and the following eight areas have been identified as the focus for the next 12 months:

  1. Fisheries management
  2. Gear technology
  3. Food supply chain (labour/ethics)
  4. Politics and law (legal framework around fisheries)
  5. Climate change
  6. Animal welfare
  7. Waste management / Circular economy (including plastics)
  8. Automation

Any requests from industry for Seafish Expert Panel assistance, and/or the delivery of expert comment, should come through Seafish in the first instance. 

Panel biographies

Dr Mark J Berry
Dr Mark J Berry
Founder and Director
Food and Life Science Consulting Ltd.

Mark has an academic training in biochemistry (BA at Oxford, PhD at UCL) and 35 years of industrial experience with Unilever PLC. He has a successful track record of delivering international projects in plant science, food biochemistry and clinical nutrition. He has a wealth of experience in patents: as an inventor (over 20 patents granted world-wide); in patent strategy and in patent portfolio management. Mark has built several scientific consortia: typically compromising an SME, a multi-national business and one or more leading Universities; often these consortia have been part-funded by public sector funding bodies – notably Innovate UK or the BBSRC. Mark enjoys networking within the UK Science-base: he was a Visiting Professor at Cranfield University (School of Energy, Environment and Agrifood) for many years and is an advisor at York University. He has also led research projects overseas – collaborating with the Unilever laboratories in India and China – a notable success was his work on evaluating the potential for TCM ingredients to reduce the risk of Type 2 diabetes. Mark is extensively media-trained with experience of press, web, live radio and local TV. Mark founded a consultancy company in January 2019 and advises clients in both the public and private sectors.

Dr Steven Mackinson
Dr Steven Mackinson
Chief Scientific Officer
Scottish Pelagic Fishermen’s Association

Working with Canadian herring fishermen in the late 90s, I realised that when science is not well connected with reality, there are missed opportunities for research and management. Ever since, I’ve had a keen interest in building stronger collaboration among scientists, stakeholders and policy - so it was an exciting opportunity to join the SPFA in 2016 as their first Chief Scientific Officer. My role is to bring industry data in to the scientific arena so that it can contribute to the knowledge base underpinning stock assessments and research on changes in the marine environment.  It draws upon my 17 years’ experience at Cefas working on fisheries acoustics, investigating changes in the North Sea food-web, ecosystem modelling and leading the EU-wide science-industry collaborative research projects GAP1 & 2. I’ve been involved with Fishing into the Future since its inception and am currently an Executive Committee member and Trustee.

Liam Fassam
Liam Fassam
University Head of Research for Logistics, Supply Chain and Transportation
University of Northampton

Liam is a thought leader, researcher & implementer of collaborative logistics and supply chain social value solutions, with over 29 years supply chain senior leadership experience.

Engaged as University Head of Research for Logistics, Supply Chain and Transportation, strategically leading impactful research allied to social impacts on societies connection to food logistics and supply chain resilience. In addition, he is Director and founding partner of a Transformational Social Enterprise University spin out business tasked with building social value through logistics and transportation networks.

Research expertise validated through numerous European Commission projects, such as seventh framework project (FP7-SME-2011) delivering subject matter expertise in UK and European rail/road intermodal markets, Horizon 2020 programs TinnGo (Women in transport), MG4.1 [AEOLIX] (Global logistics connectivity & ICT), MG4.4 [SPICE] (Public sector transportation policy) and IND CE 2017 [PolyCE] (Resource efficient circular economy supply chains) alongside UK Government research with the Department for Transport on Smart city transportation and the Government Office of Science delivering intelligence around freight and transportation futures (GO Science).

Also engaged as expert adviser to Seafish (DEFRA) on food supply chain resilience, All Party Sustainable Resource Group in the areas of Supply chain and Food security (APSRG), and Office of the Government Chief Scientific Adviser around freight futures. I am a Fellow of the Royal Geographic Society and appointed to the advisory boards of the Local Government Authority logistics strategy group, Non-Exec Director for SOCIETAL Value CIC, and twice awarded Global social media influencer in the field of Supply Chain Management.

UK Fisheries Economist Network (UKFEN)

We founded UKFEN in early 2011 in order to promote professional exchange between fisheries economists and analysts. The network has many purposes, including:

  • Linking researchers and analysts in academia, government and industry
  • Sharing research plans among members
  • The discussion and prioritisation of current and future research needs
  • Coordination of research proposals and funding applications
  • Debate and resolution of technical issues
  • Communication between analysts and their customers

UKFEN meets regularly. We provide a chair for general meetings, and members are drawn from academia, government, marine laboratories and research institutes. There is no fee for membership, and no obligation to participate in meetings.

UKFEN Members and contacts

View the full list of UKFEN members

To secure the services of a fisheries economist or analyst or to discuss potential research you can contact members directly. To circulate an invitation to tender for a consulting project to all commercial members of UKFEN contact Marta Quintana.