Funding instrument for seafood industry body under scrutiny in major strategic review

Sign up to FREE email alerts from BusinessLive – Yorkshire & Humber – a daily bulletin of the stories you need to see from around the regionInvalid EmailSomething went wrong, please try again later.SubscribeWe use your sign-up to provide content in ways you’ve consented to and to improve our understanding of you. This may include adverts from us and 3rd parties based on our understanding. You can unsubscribe at any time.More infoThank you for subscribingWe have more newslettersShow meSee ourprivacy notice

Seafood industry leaders are being urged to play a part in a strategic review of the industry organisation Seafish.

A key element up for discussion is the funding mechanism, a levy system on landed seafood last reviewed more than 20 years ago.

It has been subject to successful legal challenge in recent times, and while the Grimsby-headquartered organisation has adapted to respond to the needs of the sector, that has been rigid since 1999.

Read more: £5m investment in British fish processing outlined in ministerial visit to UK seafood capital

Marcus Coleman, chief executive, is now keen to understand what changes could be made to ensure it is fit for purpose, ahead of a looming deadline.

He said: “This strategic review is about trying to strengthen our offering and ensure we are doing what the industry needs us to do. However, we are working within a levy system from the last century which doesn’t reflect the seafood industry today.

“If the industry and government want us to do more then we need to look at how we make that happen.

“The industry consultation is a vital part of this review. We’d urge anyone with an interest in the UK seafood industry and the work that we do to complete the survey before Friday. Don’t miss your chance to shape our future.”

Marcus Coleman, chief executive of Seafish, addresses UK Seafood Summit. (Image:

Rates haven’t changed since before the millennium, with pelagic set at a quarter of white fish, with imported products in cans and jars not contributing at all, neither do farmed trout or salmon – huge growth areas.

Speaking on Port of Grimsby’s North Wall, Mr Coleman said considerations were to make it fairer across species or index linked.

Describing it as an opportunity to explore, discuss, challenge and shape options for the future, he told how Seafish operates from net to plate, often on complex issues that sit between government and industry.

Increasing seafood consumption, ensuring a safe and skilled workforce, sustainable supply and providing data, insight and innovation are the pillars it works from, set against changing landscape.

Get business news direct to your inbox

There’s no better time to stay up to date with economic and business news from your region. By signing up for our daily newsletters, email breaking news alerts and weekly round-ups from all the major sectors, you get our journalism direct by email. To sign up, find out more and see all of our newsletters, follow the link here

Brexit, and latterly the handling of the coronavirus pandemic, have dominated in recent years, with consumer-focused campaign Love Seafood also launching.

The review started with the four fisheries administrations in late 2020.

It has recently held a series of workshops with key representatives from across the seafood supply chain in the UK to discuss the same questions in the survey posed now.

The responses from all three parts of the consultation will be drawn together and a report with recommendations submitted to the government by the Seafish board at the end of the year.