The government responded swiftly to the maelstrom of Covid-19, with a broad sweep of financial support schemes for the fishing industry. Coastal towns are beginning to bustle, and things are starting to feel ‘normal’ again. However, some people have inevitably fallen through the gaps, with smaller industry members - from self-employed share-fishermen and fishermen under employment contracts, to vessel owners - facing a great deal of uncertainty.
This episode is in rapid response to a joint press release sent out this week, by the National Federation of Fishermen’s Organisation (NFFO), the Scottish Fishermen’s Federation (SFF) and the Fishermen’s Mission. The statement anticipates ‘tough months ahead’, as government support dries up, the reality of widespread debt begins to set in, and a second wave looms in threatening anticipation. These key organisations have collectively committed to supporting vulnerable members of the fishing industry, who are facing personal struggles and business losses.
We are joined by the three incredibly prominent figures responsible for the press release - Barrie Deas CEO of the NFFO, Elspeth Macdonald CEO of the SFF, and David Dickens, CE of Fishermen’s Mission. In this dynamic group conversation, we unpick the commitments stated in the press release, as well as explore the reality of fishermen’s experiences of lockdown across both Scotland and England.
Importantly, David reveals details of the ‘one stop shop’ that Fishermen’s Mission will be operating, for all matters relating to the welfare and well-being of fishermen and their families. Contactable by Freephone, landline, email or social media, this hub will act as a single point of contact to help fishermen navigate the complex tangle of support available in the wake of Covid-19 - a daunting and confusing task if done alone.
Barry Deas CEO of NFFO
Elspeth Macdonald CEO of SFF
David Dickens CE of Fishermen's Mission