Counting the human cost paid for the fish ‘we take for granted’

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The national charity that works solely to provide support for fishermen and their families, today speaks out about the dangers of fishing.

In the past four weeks, nine fishermen have died at sea, and of that number, two have yet to be found.

Alison Godfrey, director of business development at national charity the Fishermen’s Mission, said: “We simply want people to be aware of how dangerous fishing is and the human cost that is paid for the fish we take for granted.”

The charity has set up the Twitter hashtag #justsaying in an effort to highlight the dangers faced by those who go out to work at sea.

It is asking businesses in the Whitby area to get on board and follow the campaign, retweeting its posts to a wider audience, which Whitby Seafoods has done.

People can use the #just
saying hashtag and tag @thefishmish in any messages, stating why they are supporting the campaign.

The charity wants more prominence given to news coverage of deaths at sea.

“Despite this shocking figure there is very little coverage in the media,” said Alison.

“News is reported in a small waybut there is no bringing together of the facts to reveal the full story.

“It is rare for us to speak up inthis way but such are our concerns that we feel morally bound to voice our fears.

“There are thousands of families around the UK coastline who, over the years, have lost someone to the sea and, of those, many have never been found and brought home. For these families it means years of standing still and a life lived without closure.”

She was keen to emphasise the following facts:

l if you work as a fisherman from 16 to 65, then you have a 1 in 14 chance of dying at work

l the fatality rate on UK Fishing Vessels is 60 per 100,000, in agriculture it is 9.1 and in construction 2.3

l looking at 2016, there has been, to date, one death for every 910 fishermen

“These figures speak for themselves,” added Alison.

“We witness first-hand the pain and the trauma.

“We would like the deaths and injuries to our fishermen to be given the profile that informs the public of the high price of fishing and the human costs involved.”