The days of it being considered ‘bad luck’ for women to be aboard fishing boats is slipping from living memory.

From Shetland and Orkney down to Cornwall, female leaders, vessel managers and fisheries scientists are a routine day to day part of the fishing industry experience. At the last survey, Fishing News found that a fifth of our readership is female – and this continues to increase.

However, some prejudices remain entrenched. Recognising this, The Fishmongers’ Company’s Fisheries Charitable Trust, in partnership with UK Women in Fisheries, is offering five free places on the prestigious Oxford Women’s Leadership Development Programme delivered by Saïd Business School, part of the University of Oxford.

Applicants for the grant do not need to have formal qualifications, but they must have knowledge of and experience within the fishing and seafood sector. Applicants should also express an interest in supporting fisheries management, with preference given to those who currently manage, or would like to support the development of, fishing associations.

The grant forms part of The Fishmongers’ Company’s ambitions to support the development of fishing and seafood associations that address regional and national opportunities and challenges.

Women in fisheries: Alison Freeman of the Fishmonger’s Company, Emma Plotnek of Fishing Into The Future, and Imogen Smith-Devey and Freya Cohen of Fishing Animateurs, talking to Clive Palfrey of Seafood Cornwall Training.

Alison Freeman, fisheries programme manager for The Fishmonger’s Company, told FN: “Over the years, I’ve met many incredible women working behind the scenes in the fisheries sector. As the industry is increasingly being asked to step up and contribute to management, I think there is an important role for more women to stand up, pull their local sector together, and build projects that push the industry towards a brighter future.

“I am therefore very excited to offer this opportunity, and hope that this course will help build the confidence and skills of five inspiring leaders.”

Full details of the six-week online course are available here.

It involves a wide variety of tutors with both academic and business backgrounds, and will cover all aspects of leadership development and training. You’ll need to commit to at least nine to 12 hours a week of online learning for the course, which starts on Monday, 8 March.

To apply, email: Alison. by 26 February.

This story was taken from the latest issue of Fishing News. For more up-to-date and in-depth reports on the UK and Irish commercial fishing sector, subscribe to Fishing News here or buy the latest single issue for just £3.30 here


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