Maritime welfare charities have announced a new annual National Fishing Remembrance Day for those who have lost their lives while fishing at sea
Today on World Fisheries Day, maritime welfare charities have joined forces to support a new annual National Fishing Remembrance Day for those who have lost their lives while fishing at sea.
The first National Fishing Remembrance Day will take place on Sunday 12 May 2024.
Fishing to catch, and bring to land, our much needed seafood is still one of the most dangerous jobs in the UK with recent tragedies at sea occurring in north east Scotland in September and off the south coast of England in October 2023.
Fisheries Minister Mark Spencer said:
“Our fishermen not only help to feed the nation but are at the heart of communities around our coastline. National Fishing Remembrance Day will give loved ones, coastal communities and the wider public a chance to commemorate the lives lost at sea and pay tribute to their valuable service.
“The bravery of fishermen and the hard labour they endure day to day must not go unrecognised, and while we take this moment to pause and remember those who have been lost, it’s important that we continue to work to improve the safety of those working at sea so fewer families have to go through such distress in the future.”
The new national event was announced today by the Chief Executives of The Seafarers” Charity, the Fishermen’s Mission and Stella Maris.
In both World Wars, fishers were recruited into the Merchant and Royal Navies, and many lost their lives helping with mine sweeping and in service. During peace time, a high price has often been paid to provide food for the nation, most notably in 1968 when three trawlers from Hull’s Arctic fishing fleet were sunk in one month with the tragic loss of 58 lives. This event led to the introduction of significant new safety standards on all fishing vessels.
Loss of life and life-changing injuries continue to this day, causing great distress to families and communities. These losses have affected almost every fishing community over time and many local memorials exist to commemorate these sad events. This is why The Seafarers’ Charity is committed to improving fishing safety for all.
On 12th May, I will be reflecting on all the lives lost while fishing at sea and urge everyone who is living and working in fishing communities across the UK to support the National Fishing Remembrance Day.” – Deborah Layde, Chief Executive at The Seafarers” Charity.
“The Fishermen’s Mission is proud to be part of this event. For many, many years, in ports around the whole coastline of the UK, we have been holding memorial, single vessel and fleet blessing services. To finally have a national day that allows us to come together and remember so many fishermen who have lost their lives while bringing in the catch is momentous for everyone connected with fishing. From experience, we know how deeply each and every loss affects families, friends and whole communities. We also know how this loss lingers from generation to generation. The Fishermen’s Mission, along with others, has too often been the bearer of the very worst news to families. We continue to support those in their time of need, and we are pleased to join our maritime charity partners in this event.” – Marc Evans, Chief Executive at The Fishermen’s Mission.
“Stella Maris is pleased to be part of this special event to commemorate and pay tribute to fishers who have lost their lives at sea. Fishers work in dangerous conditions and for long hours so that society can enjoy and savour their catch in homes and restaurants; their labours are not always fully appreciated; it”s only right that a special day has been set aside to remember those lost at sea doing this important work. Stella Maris has a long history of providing spiritual, pastoral and practical support to fishers and their families in the UK and worldwide. Fishers and their dependents know that they can turn to our chaplains and ship visitors for support in times of need, emergency and bereavement.” – Tim Hill MBE, Chief Executive Officer at Stella Maris.
Join In and Get Involved
Find your nearest fishing memorial
Royal Museums Greenwich is supporting the new National Fishing Remembrance Day with an interactive map of fishing memorials around the UK. You can search for the nearest fishing memorial to you here.
Local remembrance events
Maritime welfare charities have joined together to commemorate this day throughout the UK. The Fishermen’s Mission and Stella Maris will have a programme of local events at fishing ports and memorials around the country on Sunday 12 May 2024. More details will be made available for remembrance services in the following areas:
- North Shields
- Milford Haven
Source: Press Release