The Seafish Strategic Review has now concluded, and the organisation says that responses indicate an ‘overwhelming need’ for its work to continue.

The consultation with the industry and government into the future of the organisation was conducted through workshops and an online survey last summer. Seafish posed questions on its function, form and funding to determine its strategic direction. This included questions on the levy system, which was last reviewed in 1999.

Seafish CEO Marcus Coleman said: “Our purpose at Seafish is to give the UK seafood sector the support it needs to thrive.

“The Strategic Review has given us a fantastic opportunity to ask industry and government how we can work in partnership to achieve that aspiration.

“We are pleased to say the Strategic Review has given us a strong steer and mandate going forward, and a renewed sense that industry need our support now more than ever.”

The consultation led to three clear outcomes, says the organisation:

  • There is an ‘overwhelming’ need for Seafish to keep supporting the seafood industry
  • There was a ‘clear steer’ on the highest priorities for industry right now. There was also acknowledgement that the organisation is currently spread too thin and needs to focus on where it can have the most impact
  • The industry acknowledged that, to move forward with ‘purpose and ambition’, Seafish needs to be funded to deliver the support the industry needs. This includes a reform of the Seafish levy. Further consultation on this will happen with industry and government.

Subject to ministerial approval from across the four administrations, Seafish is now starting to implement a set of recommendations made by its board. These will support the development of the organisation’s 2023- 2028 Corporate Plan.

The recommendations cover changes to the work Seafish will do and its structure to ensure it is set up to deliver.

Based on industry feedback, Seafish says it will now focus on six areas:

  • Workforce issues
  • Reputation of the industry
  • Climate change
  • International trade
  • Innovation and insight
  • Fisheries management.

This shift of focus means that the Love Seafood campaign – launched in October 2020 as an ‘ambitious long- term consumer marketing initiative’ is being discontinued as of 1 April.

This, said Marcus Coleman, is to enable the organsation to ‘give industry more support with its priorities’.

He added: “We also want to take this opportunity to thank the seafood industry for taking the time to give us their views. We will share more details on the recommendations soon, and we want to keep the conversation open as we start to shape the future of Seafish.”

More information on the Strategic Review is available here and in the video below…

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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