As Sunderland Marine celebrates its 140th year as an insurer of the fishing industry, director Craig McBurnie reaffirms the company’s commitment to the sector and highlights the importance of safety training and constructive dialogue to its continued success
Having insured fishing vessels for 140 years, Sunderland Marine considers itself part of the fishing community: fishing companies comprise the largest proportion of our client base, and we remain as committed to supporting the industry as we were upon our foundation in 1882.
With this experience comes an in-depth knowledge of the sector and the challenges it faces, along with a deep appreciation for the men and women who work tirelessly to deliver an essential foodstuff to communities worldwide.
Improving safety through education
Despite the importance of fishing to the global food supply, its appeal as a career path depends on the willingness of young people to commit to long hours and often difficult conditions. With other maritime sectors also competing for recruits, providing the safety training fishermen need to respond to those conditions represents an industry priority.
Accordingly, Sunderland Marine has partnered with colleges to ensure the right training and education is available to aspiring fishermen. We hope that by raising safety standards aboard fishing vessels, our collaboration with education centres will encourage new entrants into the industry.
For those already established in a fishing career, our easy-to-follow safety materials – comprising posters, guides and more detailed publications – have also proved a valuable resource, allowing them to refresh their existing knowledge and stay up to date with new procedures.
Advocating for fishing crew
In addition to collaborating with colleges and publishing free-to access content, we engage in public discussions surrounding fishing safety and frequently attend industry events as a sponsor and exhibitor.
Most recently, our participation at the Scottish Skipper Expo on 13 and 14 May included sponsorship of the seafood reception on the opening night. We also sponsored the Trainee Fisherman of the Year category at the Fishing News Awards on 12 May, where I had the honour of presenting the award to 17-year-old Isla Gale. Both events took place in Aberdeen and gave us the opportunity to meet clients and industry connections face to face for the first time since before the pandemic.
To reaffirm our commitment to the fishing sector and the crew onboard fishing vessels, we recently made a donation to the Fishing into the Future charity, which supports young fishermen and aims to encourage shared knowledge and constructive dialogue within the industry.
As much as Sunderland Marine is part of the fishing community, fishing is in the company’s DNA. We will therefore continue to do our utmost to drive safety standards on fishing vessels and guide the industry towards a more sustainable and prosperous future.
Find out more
Learn more about how Sunderland Marine supports fishing vessels, as well as coastal and other specialist vessels here.
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.