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New Fisheries Minister Visits the Seafood Industry in Grimsby

13 March 2014

UK - Fisheries Minister George Eustice MP has been to Grimsby to visit some of the organisations that are central to the seafood industry, and attend meetings with key members of industry arranged and facilitated by Seafish.

His visit began with an early morning visit to Grimsby Fish Market, where he met officials and had an opportunity to see first-hand the morning’s catch and the bustling trade around it. From there, he went on to visit the Grimsby Seafood Village and the brand new Morrison’s processing plant, both of which boast cutting edge technology and are the modern face of the industry.

Next on the agenda was Seafish, where Mr Eustice toured the offices, met with staff and received information on core projects such as responsible sourcing and industry economics , as well as taking part in discussions aimed at ensuring a sustainable and profitable future for the seafood industry in the UK..

The Minister was also briefed on the importance of safety and training within the industry as commercial fishing remains the most dangerous peace time occupation in the UK. In the past 10 years, 94 fishermen have died at sea in the UK, 529 fishermen have suffered serious injury and 210 fishing vessels have been lost and yet despite this Seafish research had uncovered that only 25% of fishermen still wear a lifejacket regularly when at sea. A new Seafish campaign backed by the Fishermen’s Mission, RNLI and other organisations, Sea You Home Safe, which aims to improve fishermen’s safety was shown and praised for its immediate impact. Mr Eustice also had a first look at some brand new Fish is the Dish education packs, that will be rolled out to primary schools in England over the next few weeks. The pack is the first resource which meets the needs of the new National Curriculum for England which comes into force in September 2014.

Reflecting on his visit to Grimsby, Mr Eustice said: “The Fish is the Dish education packs are a great way of encouraging more children to enjoy fish and seafood in a way that is both practical and fun. This initiative is also a great way of supporting our fishermen.”

“In coastal communities such as Grimsby the fishing industry makes a major contribution to the local economy and provides many local jobs. I want to do everything I can to help champion our fishing industry in every way I can.”

In planning the agenda for the Minister’s visit, Seafish was keen to ensure that it held as much value for industry as possible as Dr Paul Williams, Chief Executive of Seafish explains:

“Today has enabled the Minister to get a real sense of how important the industry is in this area, and its integral value to the seafood industry on a national and international scale. Throughout his visit, Mr Eustice was able to gain insight on key industry issues first hand, and have the kind of in-depth, meaningful discussion that is so valuable, given his wide and challenging remit.

“From our perspective, it has been great to be able to demonstrate to the Minister our commitment to supporting the industry we serve, and to highlight some of our flagship projects for the coming year and beyond. This visit gave us the opportunity to offer our support as an authoritative voice on the industry, a role that will remain central to our activities.”

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