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30th April 2020

News Release £500,000 from Seafarers UK for Fishers Impacted by the COVID-19 Pandemic

News Release

£500,000 from Seafarers UK for Fishers Impacted by the COVID-19 Pandemic

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic’s impact on merchant seafarers, fishers and their families, the Seafarers UK charity has created a new Seafarers UK COVID-19 Emergency Fund of £2million, with £500,000 immediately allocated to assist fishing communities across Britain.

Fisherman Hardship funds available

Included in the grants that have been awarded to charity partners providing advice and support arising from the widespread impacts of the coronavirus are:

£250,000 to provide match funding with The Fishmongers’ Company’s Fisheries Charitable Trust for innovative projects to support fish and seafood businesses, benefiting the fish-catching sector. The COVID-19 Rapid Response Grant Programme guidelines are here

£200,000 to The Fishermen’s Mission to provide hardship welfare grants to fishers and their families, based on requests received via the Mission’s frontline staff

£50,000 reserved for organisations working with fishers around the UK.

Vice Admiral Peter Wilkinson said

Seafarers UK Chairman Vice Admiral Peter Wilkinson CB CVO BA said: ‘The trustees of Seafarers UK have released new funds to help fishers recover from the widespread impact on their wellbeing and livelihoods as a result of the coronavirus. We are working with our charity partners to provide both hardship funding and innovative new projects to support our fishing communities 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.’

Grants from Seafarers UK are offered to charities and other organisations providing services to fishers and their families. Applications should be made via email to . Guidance to applicants is available at or phone 020 7932 0000.

Individual fishers seeking support should contact SAIL, a dedicated free Citizens Advice facility that receives an annual grant from Seafarers UK. SAIL (Seafarers’ Advice and Information Line), phone 0800 160 1842, email , website


Seafarers UK is a charity that has been providing vital support to the men and women who work at sea and are in need, and to those in maritime education or training, for over 100 years. The charity does this by giving grants to organisations and projects that make a real difference to people’s lives. Seafarers UK receives no government funding and is heavily dependent on public donations and legacies. Last year Seafarers UK was able to give £2.2million in funding to more than 40 maritime welfare and youth charities.

Seafarers UK has led two influential research projects highlighting the social welfare needs of fishing communities. The charity’s initial research report ‘Fishing for a Future’ impacted government policy and highlighted the many challenges faced by UK fishing fleets.

The Seafarers UK COVID-19 Emergency Appeal

[Seafarers UK COVID-19 Emergency Appeal banner] (

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