Seafish sets out priorities to help UK seafood sector

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Seafish has announced that it plans to deliver on seven priorities to help support a thriving UK seafood industry.

Seafish’s latest annual plan for 2024-25 details its intended activities for the current financial year.

The seven priorities are:

  • ensuring a safe and skilled workforce
  • promoting international trade
  • enabling supply chain resilience
  • responding to the climate change emergency
  • improving management
  • improving data, insight, and innovation and
  • championing the industry’s reputation.

The organisation said it aims to continue delivering impactful outputs, including practical tools, resources, guidance, and training, as well as opportunities for UK seafood businesses to promote their products internationally.

Marcus Coleman

Seafish CEO Marcus Coleman said: “Ahead of our corporate plan being developed, the seafood industry gave us clear feedback on where you felt our assistance was needed most.

“By working closely with industry and wider stakeholders over the past year, we’ve been able deliver outputs with real impacts.

“This has included practical tools and resources, guidance and training, and opportunities for UK seafood businesses to promote their products to key international markets. “

He added: “We know there’s still more work to do to help our UK seafood industry thrive and we’re already underway with delivery of activities in our Annual Plan for 2024 to 2025.”

The CEO stressed that his organisation is funded by the seafood levy and delivering across its seven priorities would not be possible without it.

But he disclosed:” We are currently consulting on proposed changes to that levy system so that we can continue to support the seafood industry across the UK.”

Practical steps

Highlighting achievements made possible by working closely with industry and wider stakeholders, Seafish pointed to a number of key accomplishments so far.

The organisation has published Skilled Worker Visa guides to help the seafood industry navigate the legalities around the employment of migrant workers.

Safety and skills have been improved with almost 6,000 training places delivered while seafood businesses occupied 43 exhibition spaces at four international trade shows.

Seafood businesses have benefited from advice given around import charges, plastic packaging tax, extended producer responsibilities.

Businesses can also now access a carbon emissions profiling tool to help the sector meet net-zero targets.

Since leaving the EU, the seafood industry has had to adapt to changes in legislation with Seafish, along with Defra (the Deprtmanet for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) and the UK’s Marine Management Organisation, working with 350 fishermen on fisheries management plans.

Codes of practice have been developed with the shellfish industry on animal welfare commitments.

An evidence-based response following misinformation being circulated about scampi has been developed.

Health and safety workshops to support the industry were also welcomed, Coleman said.

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