Tuesday, 21 April 2020

Crucial funding made available for the fishing industry - spread the fish word not the virus!

COVID-19 has resulted in the closure of fish markets and the UK restaurant trade is now at a standstill. Now, more than ever, it is vital that we help fishers find local markets, so that they can keep working and to ensure that the British public has access to a vital, fresh food supply.

To support the seafood supply chain in the face of widespread COVID-19 disruption, the Fishmongers’ Company’s Fish on Friday website is introducing two, exciting, rapid response initiatives.

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic’s impact on merchant seafarers, fishers and their families, Seafarers UK has created a new Seafarers UK COVID-19 Emergency Fund of £2 million, with grants being awarded immediately to delivery partners providing advice and support for individual seafarers affected by the widespread coronavirus impacts.

The new fund is intended for distribution in 2020/2021, with 75% allocated to the international merchant seafaring community and 25% to UK coastal fishing fleets. Effective partnership working with frontline service delivery organisations across the UK plus those acting globally is already ensuring a rapid response to meet urgent welfare needs.

Seafarers UK chairman Vice Admiral Peter Wilkinson CB CVO BA said: ‘The trustees of Seafarers UK are releasing £2 million of new funds to help seafarers and fishers recover from the widespread impact on their wellbeing and livelihoods as a result of the coronavirus. We will work with our charity partners to provide both hardship funding and innovative new projects to support our seafarers through and beyond the current crisis. Our long history of helping those who work at sea enables us to target effective and meaningful support to where it is most needed.’

The new Seafarers UK COVID-19 Emergency Fund of £2m is in addition to Seafarers UK’s existing annual budget of £2m grants to support delivery partner organisations. The extra £2m is in addition to new funding announced earlier this month by the ITF Seafarers’ Trust and The TK Foundation, both organisations that work in collaboration with Seafarers UK.


The RRGP programme is for fishing and seafood businesses and food charities looking to:

• Diversify due to COVID-19 
• Promote the consumption or sale of local seafood 
• Provide community meals using seafood

With matched-funding from Seafarers UK, the UK's largest maritime charity, the fund now contains £500,000 to support the industry. For more information and to apply, visit fishonfriday.org.uk/grants.


Support local businesses and source local, safe, healthy sustainable food. Find out where you can order local seafood on this new interactive map.

Can’t find a seafood supplier near you? Nominate your local fish merchant or check back soon, as more are joining daily.

Are you selling seafood? 

To get your business or your members' businesses listed on the Fish on Friday site, please send the business name(s), a description of the service on offer (delivery/collection, food boxes etc), address, phone number, email address and website to info@fishonfriday.org.uk