IMPORTANT LINKS

COVID-19 UPDATE TO CFPO MEMBERS 24/03/20

Uncharted, uncertain and challenging times for fishermen, markets and merchants across the region in the midst of the Covid-19 crisis.

The CFPO has been continuing to liaise with SWFPO and Interfish FPO along with local markets (Newlyn, Plymouth and Brixham) about the ongoing challenges of selling fish. It won’t be a surprise but I think it’s still worth stating that there remains a great deal of uncertainty and, in reality, that uncertainty is likely to continue. 

To be clear, Newlyn, Plymouth and Brixham markets remain open and will be using their best endeavours, supported by buyers/merchants, to continue to sell fish. This will be the case until you hear from them directly.

There are ongoing worries about what species might be most vulnerable to major demand and/or price drop – but again at this stage, the advice is that emphasis should be on lower volumes and higher quality as a general approach.

A continuation of shorter trips is considered to be a sensible approach rather than risking higher volumes from longer trips that may be more difficult to sell -obviously where possible/practical.

Communication remains absolutely essential so please continue to speak to your respective market/auctioneer/buyer about what you are catching and when you are intending to land to ensure they can spread landings. Market stability is more likely to be secured from shorter trips and staggered landings.

We are going to keep in close liaison with other SW POs and markets on an ongoing basis and will endeavour to keep you informed as more information emerges. 

The behaviour and efforts of vessels, markets and buyers so far has meant that although prices are depressed,  fish has been sold and efforts to stimulate demand and keep supply chains open will continue.

Shellfish markets have come to an almost complete halt, although some direct sales have helped in the short term for some inshore shellfishermen. Make sure you know what the legal requirements of selling directly are. You can find out here.  

Talks with DEFRA

 

Today (24 March) we have been in discussion with DEFRA and an announcement is expected within the next 24/48 hours on a package of support that will help self-employed share-fishermen who have been impacted by the coronavirus. 

Although we have little detail we have been assured a proposal has been submitted to the Treasury for decision. Whilst no guarantees are being given, there are high expectations that this new package will fill some of the gaps in the economic support measures announced so far. Clearly, self-employed share-fishermen are not eligible for the support given to wage earners (80% of earnings up to £2500 per month) and so it is imperative that the government acts urgently to fill this gap where needed. The announcement on share fishermen is likely to be part of a package on measures for the self-employed more generally.

Both directly and through the NFFO we have urged the government to act, as markets fail under the impact of reduced demand. Most export markets, the restaurant & food-service sector, and fish counters in some supermarkets have closed down. Transport links are beginning to be affected.

The government and industry organisations like the CFPO have a shared goal during this pandemic of keeping businesses in the catching and supply chain intact so that they can thrive again when the crisis is passed.

Food production workers, including fishermen, have been designated as key workers, acknowledging that food security is a priority and that where possible the links in the supply chain from vessel to consumer should remain intact. Whilst limiting the spread of the virus is paramount and finding ways of limiting risk all-important, people require food.

We underlined that given the poor start to the year weather-wise many parts of the fleet are entering this crisis with very little resilience/money in the bank, therefore measure must be genuine and include both real money and regulatory considerations and must be developed and delivered urgently.

We are going to keep in close liaison with NFFO, UKAFPO & other POs and other relevant bodies on an ongoing basis and will endeavour to keep you informed as more information emerges.

 CFPO Charges and Levies

Given the current exceptional circumstances facing us all it has been agreed that the CFPO will take the following measures: 

  • stop the collection of CFPO levy for over-10m member vessels from Monday 30 March for a period of 2 months (until 31 may 2020) this will be kept under review.
  • not invoice for CFPO under-10m membership fixed subscription for 2020.

Obviously we appreciate this is perhaps of minor significance in the broader scheme of things but felt it worth doing at this time.

We will inform agents/markets that collect levies on our behalf later today.

CFPO Office Manning

In compliance with the Government’s instructions to limit attendance at workplaces, the CFPO office in Newlyn will be closing as of tomorrow (Wednesday 25 March). 

This does not mean that the CFPO will reduce its efforts or cease to function in any way at this crucial time. We will continue to represent the interests of our members. 

Telephone calls, e-mails, teleconferencing and video conferencing, social media and the CFPO website are all being deployed to ensure that the fishing industry’s concerns and views are being heard.

You can always contact the CFPO by email and we will respond as quickly as possible:admin@cfpo.org.uk.

If you need to speak to me please do on 07836522314 or email direct paul@cfpo.org.uk

Updates 

The response to our Seafood Cornwall initiative #FishToYourDoor has been incredible. We’ve already connected over 400 customers to merchants in Cornwall and the demand continues to be high. We hope this helps to stimulate domestic demand throughout this crisis and beyond. 

We are also keen to support fishermen who would like to sell their shellfish direct. We will publish a list tomorrow (25th March 2020) on the Seafood Cornwall website. If you would like to be on it, please email harriet@mindfullywired.org. 

If you would like to sell direct make sure you are following the law. Please read this poster for guidance. You can also listen to the Fathom podcast which you can access here. There will be a new episode out on Friday. 

COVID-19 UPDATE TO CFPO MEMBERS 20/03/20

Following a challenging and turbulent week for fishermen, markets and merchants across the region in relation to Covid-19, the CFPO has today (Friday 20 March) again liaised with SWFPO and Interfish FPO along with local markets (Newlyn, Plymouth and Brixham) about the ongoing challenges of selling fish.

It won’t be a surprise but still worth stating clearly that there remains a great deal of uncertainty and in reality, that uncertainty is likely to continue. 

As the week has progressed market demand did fall across the board with demand and price for fish, in particular whitefish fragile (shellfish merchants (crab & lobster) have almost entirely ceased taking any shellfish). Some prime fish including dover sole did hold in terms of price but this should not be seen as assured or long term.

The behaviour and efforts of vessels, markets and buyers has meant that although prices are depressed fish has been sold and efforts to stimulate demand and keep supply chains open will continue. Shellfish markets have come to an almost complete halt.

To be clear Newlyn, Plymouth and Brixham markets remain open and will be using their best endeavours, supported by buyers/merchants, to continue to sell fish. This will be the case until you hear from them directly.

There are ongoing worries about what species might be most vulnerable to major demand and/or price drop -but again at this stage the advice is that emphasis should be on lower volumes and higher quality as a general approach.

A continuation of shorter trips is considered to be a sensible approach rather than risking higher volumes from longer trips that may be more difficult to sell -obviously where possible/practical.

Communication remains absolutely essential so please speak to your respective market/auctioneer/buyer about what you are catching and when you are intending to land to ensure they can spread landings. Market stability is more likely to be secured from shorter trips and staggered landings.

We are going to keep in close liaison with other SW POs and markets on an ongoing basis and will endeavour to keep you informed as more information emerges. 

Discussions have begun with DEFRA regarding a support package for fishermen but this is in early stages and almost certainly won’t be as quick a fix as we would like or indeed need. Following a telephone conference on Thursday, it has been agreed to work on a support package in four key areas:

  1. The development of alternative markets and alternative routes to market. Government has a role in helping with shift/increase new demand in the domestic market
  2. Direct and indirect financial support. The immediate task is to understand the content of the Chancellor’s £350 billion support package, to understand to what extent this will be relevant and of use to the fishing sector; and to identify where additional support will be required
  3. Regulatory changes: the group is to work on reducing regulatory burdens where these impede an adequate response to the crisis
  4. Development of an adaptive joint industry/government approach to the different aspects of the crisis as they evolve

A wide range of stakeholders from across the country and across supply chain brought their different concerns and insights into the discussion. A smaller, more focused group will be required to work up proposals.

We underlined that given the poor start to the year weather wise many parts of the fleet are entering this crisis with very little resilience/money in the bank, therefore measure must be genuine and include both real money and regulatory considerations and must be developed and delivered urgently.

We are going to keep in close liaison with NFFO, UKAFPO & other POs and other relevant bodies on an ongoing basis and will endeavour to keep you informed as more information emerges.

Updates

The Fathom team have produced a rapid response episode to guide you through this difficult time. It includes information on the current market the #FishToYourDoor initiative (see below) and guidance on how fishermen can sell their catch direct from the quay or if they want to do a delivery service.  See the poster here and the episode here

The response to our Seafood Cornwall initiative #FishToYourDoor has been incredible. Thank you to all those who have been in touch so far. We are in the process of building a database of interested customers and local merchants across the county to help keep up the demand for fish and shellfish in Cornwall and support local fishermen and fishing communities. If you haven’t already, and you would like to register your interest as a customer or merchant, please get in touch by emailing info@seafoodcornwall.org.uk.



Paul Trebilcock

COVID-19 UPDATE TO CFPO MEMBERS 18/03/20

With ongoing concerns from fishermen across the region about Covid-19, the CFPO has again liaised with SWFPO and Interfish FPO along with local markets (Newlyn, Plymouth and Brixham) about the ongoing challenges of selling fish. There is a great deal of uncertainty at the moment and in reality that uncertainty is likely to continue. 

Market demand has fallen across the board with demand and price for fish and shellfish, in particular, whitefish.  Shellfish merchants (crab & lobster) have almost entirely ceased taking any shellfish. Some prime fish including dover sole is currently holding in terms of price but this should not be seen as assured or long term.

There are worries about what species might be most vulnerable to major demand and/or price drop -but again at this stage it was felt that emphasis should be on lower volumes and higher quality as a general approach.

Shorter trips are considered to be a sensible approach rather than risking higher volumes from longer trips that may be more difficult to sell -obviously where possible/practical.

Please speak to your respective market/auctioneer/buyer about what you are catching and when you are intending to land to ensure they can spread landings. Market stability is more likely to be secured from shorter trips and staggered landings.

We are going to keep in close liaison with other SW POs and markets on an ongoing basis and will endeavour to keep you informed as more information emerges. 

Discussions have begun with DEFRA (through NFFO and UKAFPO jointly, as well as by induvial POs) regarding a support package for fishermen but this is in early stages and almost certainly won’t be a quick fix. 

Given the poor start to the year, weather-wise, many parts of the fleet are entering this crisis with very little resilience/money in the bank, therefore measure must be genuine and include both real money and regulatory considerations.

We will do everything we can to support you during this worrying period. We will be bringing you a Fathom podcast very soon with advice and guidance on direct selling and updates from Defra on financial support for fishermen. 

We are also working with our Seafood Cornwall initiative to help keep up the demand for fish and shellfish in Cornwall and support local fishermen and fishing communities. We want to connect customers who are in isolation to fish merchants with the capacity to deliver freshly caught fish. If you are a fish merchant who would like to be connected to more customers please get in touch now using info@seafoodcornwall.org.uk

If you are a customer who would like fresh Cornish fish delivered to your door, please email info@seafoodcornwall.org.uk. Thank you. 

Paul Trebilcock

COVID-19 UPDATE TO CFPO MEMBERS

Given the ongoing concerns from members in relation to Covid-19, the CFPO together with SWFPO and Interfish FPO have been in discussion with local markets (Newlyn, Plymouth and Brixham) about the selling of fish. There is a great deal of uncertainty at the moment and in reality that uncertainty is likely to continue,  at the moment (today!) thankfully the market is holding up.

There are worries about what species might be most vulnerable to major demand and/or price drop -but at this stage it was felt that emphasis should be on on lower volumes and higher quality as a general approach.

Shorter trips are considered to be a wiser step rather than risking higher volumes from longer trips that may be more difficult to sell -obviously where possible/practical.

Please speak to your respective market/auctioneer/buyer about what you are catching and when you are intending to land to ensure they can spread landings. Market stability is more likely to be secured from shorter trips and staggered landings.

To date there has been no major disruption of transport chains to the continent.

We are going to keep in close liaison with other SW POs and markets this week and will endeavour to keep you informed as more information emerges.

If you have any questions or concerns about the impact COVID-19 might have on your business, please don’t hesitate to get in touch. Our door is always open.

DEFRA’S LATEST UPDATE – 13/03/20

Please find Defra’s latest Marine and Fisheries update below.   You will find updates on the following topics:

If you have any questions or concerns about the impact COVID-19 might have on your business, please don’t hesitate to get in touch. Our door is always open.

DEFRA’S LATEST UPDATE 

 

Defra have sent out their last update of December. You will find updates on the following topics:

If you have any questions about the above, please let us know.

PREPARE YOUR FISHERIES BUSINESS FOR BREXIT

 

The MMO have put together some guidance (please see below) for what you need to do as a fisheries business to prepare for a no-deal Brexit. It is important you read through this list and make sure you know what to do. If you need any help or guidance please give us a call or come in to the office.

NEW LANDING OBLIGATION ADVISORY NOTES

Do you understand what derogations and flexibilities are available for certain gears?  Please read the CFPO guidance on this.

Current flexibilities and derogations will have to be justified annually and therefore it is vital that the use of them is recorded properly.

The CFPO has produced a range simple gear specific (laminated on request at the office) advisory notes aimed at skippers/crew for onboard use. They have been provided for each of the following gears (click to download).

Area 7 e-k Trawl fisheries using greater than 80mm cod end mesh size

 

Area 7 Gill, Tangle and Trammel Net Fisheries

 

 

Area 7 Beam Trawl fisheries using greater than 80mm cod end mesh size (vessel engine power over 221Kw)

 

If you would still like some guidance, please drop into the CFPO office at any time!

UK SHARE FISHERMEN: A PRACTICAL GUIDE & REVIEW OF STATUS

Human Rights at Sea, with support from the National Federation of Fishermen’s Organisations (NFFO) and The Fishermen’s Mission, released a briefing note covering the topic of UK Share Fishermen in respect of the ILO 188 Work in Fishing Convention 2007 to provide better clarity now the new UK legislation has come into force.

The Briefing Note helps to explain to individuals working across the UK fisheries supply chain the rights of share catch fishermen in light of the Work in Fishing Convention legislation. “It also allows individual fishermen and the industry to see clearly the overall welfare balance of choosing to work as a share catch fisherman.” Commodore David Dickens RN CBE, Chief Executive of The Fishermen’s Mission.

Robert Greenwood, Safety and Training Officer, NFFO, commented that: “The right to be a share fisherman is an important part of the UK Fishing industry and is a historic privilege enjoyed by both fisherman and vessel owners equally. The introduction of ILO C188 Work in Fishing Convention and its implementation into UK law, includes both employed and share fishermen, and this independent briefing note by Human Rights at Sea clarifies that the rights of a share fishermen should be unaffected by the Work in Fishing Convention changes.”

Read the briefing note here.

NEW TECHNICAL CONSERVATION REGULATION

A new technical conservation regulation will be introduced this summer, and the MMO is providing an update on the upcoming changes to enable the fishing industry to prepare.

They would like to remind fishermen operating in the Celtic Sea of the Landing Obligation rules that will come into force on 1 July.

The MMO is working on comprehensive guidance to assist members of the industry to understand the changes.

To find out more information now you can check out the MMO blog and Q&A.