February 04, 2022

New support for women working in fishing

The Seafarers’ Charity is funding a new membership organisation to represent, support and promote women working in the UK fishing industry.

UK Women in Fisheries is a new network for all women who work in the UK’s fishing industry. Women who are vessel owners, fleet managers, fishers, fishmongers, processors, fishing conservationists, charity workers, trainers or working in other roles in the fishing industry are invited to join and benefit from networking with other women, events, training, mentoring, resources and mutual support. There is also an online group where women can share stories, support each other and plan for the future.

Research has shown that women's roles in fisheries are vital, from net to plate (Gustavsson, 2020). UK Women in Fisheries intend to both recognise and support women’s work in fishing. Too often women’s roles have been hidden or overlooked. However, there are increasing numbers of women working in fishing, in all and every role. An important ambition of this new network is to increase the visibility of women’s work in this traditionally male dominated industry. By acknowledging the research and the true status of women in UK fisheries they will seek to promulgate information and research about the different roles of women working in fishing in the UK.

The Seafarers’ Charity award of £27,000 in grant funding is to support the UK Women in Fisheries network to take their 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 UK Women in Fisheries will provide representation and support for women working incredibly hard in the UK fishing industry. In addition to our funding, we will also promote the significant contribution that women make to the industry - not just in processing but working out at sea catching fish, various shore-based roles, and of course within fishing businesses and the family.' - Catherine Spencer, CEO of The Seafarers’ Charity

The UK Women in Fisheries network will provide visibility, representation and recognition for women across the sector. It will highlight, support and promote the varied roles that women play in the UK commercial sea fishing sector - fish catching; fish supply chain; fishing businesses; fishing families; fishing organisations; government, regulation and enforcement; in knowledge production or research, wherever they may be.

The UK Women in Fisheries network aims to bring together similar networks from the devolved administrations and has the potential to play an effective role in supporting communications throughout the fisheries sector.

More information is available about UK Women in Fisheries at https://women-fisheries.com/

The website also includes a membership form for women who want to sign up to the network.

Visit UK Women in Fisheries new website