A new membership network to engage, connect and promote women working in the industry has been launched by UK Women in Fisheries (WIF).

Funded by The Seafarers’ Charity, the network aims to provide support, training, mentoring and resources, while also increasing the visibility of women’s work in a traditionally male-dominated industry.

“Women’s contribution to fisheries is valued, whether at the quayside or the negotiating table, and the WIF network will connect these women, keep them informed, and enable them to have a voice in policy-making around fisheries policies,” said Clare Leverton, a WIF board member.

The network is open to all women working in any capacity across the UK fishing industry, and aims to providemrepresentation and recognition for women across the sector. It will also highlight, support and promote the varied roles that women play in the UK commercial sea fishing sector.

The Seafarers’ Charity’s grant of £27,000 will enable WIF to take its plans forward. “For too long the important contribution made by women in the UK fishing industry has been ignored. I hope that The Seafarers’ Charity’s funding of WIF will provide representation and support for women working incredibly hard in the UK fishing industry,” said Catherine Spencer, CEO of The Seafarers’ Charity.

Research carried out in 2020 into the role that women play in fisheries and UK fisheries found that women are ‘crucial to the fishing industry, community and to fishing families’, and ‘provide a backbone to the industry’.

However, the report, by Dr Madeleine Gustavsson, also found that women experience ‘issues around pay, abuse and violence, as well as prejudiced and traditional beliefs’.

WIF says that the formation of the network will allow women working in the industry to connect and communicate more easily.

It also says the network will ‘go some way towards women’s roles in fishing being understood and recognised by the sector’.

More information and membership details can be found 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


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