Whitby’s MP Robert Goodwill says there are jobs available for people wanting to get into the fishing industry – if they are willing to move to the north west of Scotland.
Mr Goodwill contacted us this week following a meeting with Angus MacNeil, a Scottish National Party member representing the Western Isles.
Mr MacNeil said there are six fishing boats unable to get out to sea due to problems recruiting.
Mr Goodwill believes this could provide an opening for Whitby people who want to work in the fishing industry, even if it means starting in a remote location.
“I can remember during the referendum campaign one of the big issues in Whitby was the decline of the fishing industry,” he said.
“So I assume there would be people in Whitby who would be keen to take jobs in fishing, even if meant going up into the Isles for a period.
“There’s a good opportunity there for a person who wants to get started at the bottom rung of the industry and it’s a great part of the world up there. There are fishing jobs which are unfilled in the UK, albeit in remote locations. It’s an opportunity for someone from a fishing family who no longer have a vessel.”
Mr MacNeil said skippers were on the lookout for crew members capable of taking on tough tasks at sea, so they can get vessels untied.
“If we can get people reading the Whitby Gazette to move to Scotland, they would be more than welcome,” he said. “If you are not skilled in the job, you could lose life or limb quite quickly – not just anyone can do this.
“You need to have a great deal of stamina and must be able to work in a moving environment. You have to be able to splice nets and rope, gut fish – there are a lot of skills required that are not just a job for anyone.”
Despite concerns for the industry since the Brexit vote, there has been a feelgood factor in the Whitby fishing community recently.
Dennis Crooks Fish Merchants was named Seafood Supplier of the Year at Food Awards England 2016, for the second year running.
And a group of retired local fishermen with more than 500 years’ experience at sea were reunited in a special event at the Fisherman’s Wife on Khyber Pass, as part of Seafood Week.