It’s been hard to ignore the eye-opening research released by Seafarers UK earlier last month. The landmark report, “Fishing Without a Safety Net: The Financial Resilience of Small-Scale Coastal Fishers, their Families and Communities”, revealed the precarious financial situation experienced by small-scale fishermen around the UK. Fluctuating incomes, difficulty budgeting, an inability to access affordable credit and an overburden of debt may all be painfully familiar for some.
In this episode of Fathom, we talk to Deborah Layde and Tina Barnes from Seafarers UK, to unravel the research behind the report, along with the key findings. Whilst this financial precarity is not reflective of the entire industry, it is vital that we don’t leave this part of the fleet behind, particularly as another lockdown is likely to exacerbate fishermen’s financial struggles.
Bleak findings have been met with urgent, innovative solutions: Seafarers UK have been quick to respond to the research, proposing a number of recommendations for individuals, charity and government to improve the financial resilience of small-scale fishermen and their families. These range from the centrepiece‘ share fisher plus cooperative approach’, to a national credit union, tailored specifically for the small-scale fleet. Wondering what on earth these things mean? Tune in!
The ‘Safety Net’ is still very much an active piece of work, and any ideas or comments from within the industry will be highly welcomed.
Deborah Layde, Seafarers UK
Tina Barnes, Seafarers UK