The UK-based Sea Fish Industry Authority (Seafish) is supporting the seafood industry to achieve the ultimate goal of eliminating unethical practices from UK seafood supply chains.
Seafish has introduced a series of work areas, which are supported by Seafish’s three Sector Panels to help the industry achieve the ultimate goal of eliminating unethical practices from UK seafood supply chains. Seafish has introduced a series of integrated work areas to support the seafood industry including:
- Establishing the Seafood Ethics Common Language Group (SECLG) to bring industry and other stakeholders together to collaboratively understand how ethical issues can be addressed across the supply chain;
- Producing 15 profiles identifying social risks in regions supplying the UK market;
- Developing a Tool for Ethical Seafood Sourcing (TESS) to signpost stakeholders to resources to help manage and reduce risk;
- Developing the voluntary Seafish Responsible Fishing Scheme (RFS) certifying high standards of crew welfare and responsible catching practices on fishing vessels;
- Disseminating briefings, updates and developments to stakeholders (via SECLG and broader outreach activities).
In addition to the Seafish ethics work in October 2017 Seafish conducted a Pilot Survey of Employment in the UK Fishing Fleet. The 2017 pilot survey was conducted by Seafish on behalf of the Marine Management Organisation (MMO) and Marine Scotland to test the data collection methodology ahead of the full employment surveys that are due to run from 2018, as required under the EU’s Data Collection Framework (DCF). The survey collected data on the gender, age, education level, nationality and employment status of people working in the UK catching sector. Seafish collected the data via face-to-face interviews with vessel owners and skippers in ports across the UK. The 2017 pilot survey gathered data on 313 UK fishing vessels and 914 jobs. These figures represent 7% of active vessels and 7% of jobs in the UK fishing fleet in 2016. This was a pilot exercise, the analysis of findings focuses on the survey sample only: results have not been extrapolated to the whole of the UK fishing industry. In terms of the distribution of jobs in the sample by worker nationality Seafish found that just over three quarters (77%) of the jobs in the sample were filled by UK citizens. Around 10% of foreign workers in the survey sample were citizens of other EEA/EU Member States and 13% were from non-EEA countries. Non-UK workers in the sample occupied mainly deckhand and engineer jobs, representing 31% of all engineers and 39% of all deckhands.