March 2020: Welfare support available to fishermen

Posted on 25th March 2020

Cornwall IFCA have been asked to share information about welfare support available to fishermen at this difficult time. The following information was sent to us by The Fishmongers’ Company, The Fishermen's Mission, Shipwrecked Mariners, Seafarers Hospital Society, Seafarers UK, Trinity House and SAIL. 

In the light of the COVID-19 pandemic and it’s impacts on the UK’s fish markets and supply chains, a wide range of welfare support is available to fishermen who have been affected by the outbreak.

With fish markets and restaurants closing across the country, fish prices in many areas have dropped dramatically, while overseas supply routes have also been closed-off. This presents unprecedented challenges for the fishing industry and the individuals and families it supports.

Despite this there is a wide range of funding, financial pastoral support available to fishermen and their families in these challenging times. There are numerous charities able to provide information and assistance covering issues including access to universal credit, mental health and wellbeing and signposting towards the numerous agencies able to help in these times. These include:

·          Fishermen’s Mission:
Offering emergency financial support for fishermen for the maintenance of the basics of life, and providing pastoral care. The Mission work closely with Shipwrecked Mariners Society to provide financial and practical assistance to fishermen and their dependants.

·          Seafarers’ Advice and Information Line (SAIL):
Part of Citizen Advice Bureau (CAB) offering specialised advice for fishermen, including independent, financial advice on benefit entitlement, HMRC issues, debt, charity grants and housing.
Visit online
, free phone 0800 160 1842 (lines are open weekdays 10am-4pm) or email

·          Seafarers Hospital Society:

Offering health, welfare and advice to merchant seafarers and fishermen families. Visit online , call 020 8858 3696 or email

·          BIG WHITE WALL:
A confidential 24/7 online mental health and wellbeing advice and support service provided by the Seafarers Hospital Society.

·          Seafarer Support:
Guides serving and former UK seafarers and their families towards relevant help in times of need. Their online tool
allows users to input basic details then searches their database of over 150 maritime charities to identify those which may be able to provide help. You can also call the freephone helpline on 0800 121 4765.

  The MMO have also compiled information for fishermen.


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