Leading Journal of the Irish & UK Fishing Industries

One of the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic is the suspension of face-to-face training opportunities. In response Seafish, the public body that supports the £10bn UK seafood industry, is extending its support for online learning opportunities for those working in fishing and seafood businesses.

Thanks to funding from the Maritime & Coastguard Agency (MCA) and Trinity House, fishermen who sign up for courses in navigation, engineering and stability awareness on the Seafish Online Training platform will be able to access free online tutor support and assessments from Seafish’s network of approved training providers.

These courses have been selected for funding because they make up some of the requirements for the voluntary under 16.5m skipper certificates. Fishermen who successfully pass an online end-of-course assessment will be issued with Seafish certificates.

As a special measure during the COVID-19 lockdown, Seafish is also subsidising the cost of e-learning for workers in the onshore sectors of the seafood industry. Funding is available to support online and remote learning courses in food hygiene and health and safety, with exam by video conference allowing learners to secure recognised qualifications.

These courses are also open to fishermen interested in getting into direct selling. Taught courses in bivalve purification and principles of food authenticity can also be delivered remotely by video conferencing.

Simon Potten, Head of Safety and Training at Seafish said: “We’re investing in remote learning opportunities while the delivery of taught courses in face-to-face environments is suspended in response to the need for social distancing created by COVID-19.

“We know businesses across the seafood sectors are facing unprecedented challenges right now. We’re looking to create opportunities for individuals to access training at this difficult time to help maintain the fabric of the seafood industry going forward.

“This increased support means that fishermen can continue learning vital information that will keep them safe at sea and those working onshore can access funding for essential training in food hygiene and safe working practices.

“The funding is also open to furloughed employees or those recently made redundant from seafood businesses, providing them with an opportunity to build their knowledge and gain nationally recognised qualifications.”

To find out more visit the Seafish website: https://www.seafish.org/article/funding-to-support-online-learning

  • Fishermen looking to take advantage of navigation, engineering and stability courses should contact the Fishermen’s Training team on training@seafish.co.uk.
  • Individuals or businesses looking to enquire about food hygiene, health and safety, bivalve purification and principles of food authenticity should contact the Onshore Training team on onshore@seafish.co.uk.


Image: Boy Christopher FD 131 on her way in to land in Scarborough (Credit: Mick Bayes Jr)