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New scheme launched to support fishing industry during pandemic

Posted by on 25 June 2020 | Comments

An initiative providing practical support to the fishing industry across the country has launched a scheme specifically to help those in the East of England.

Call4Fish is a nationwide initiative designed to facilitate and enable practical support to the fishing industry during the Covid19 crisis and beyond. It helps reconnect customers with suppliers, helps rebuild the supply chain and protects jobs. It also ensures customers can safely purchase high-quality sustainable fish and shellfish caught by British boats in home waters.

Local authorities in Norfolk and Suffolk and the New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership are working in partnership with Call4Fish and have launched Call4Fish (East) to support the local fishing industry from Kings Lynn to Felixstowe.

Call4Fish (East) will provide a range of services and work alongside local organisations who understand the issues and have a direct stake in supporting their communities. This local knowledge and expertise will help to deliver a much more joined-up and coordinated approach that can help protect jobs and ensure fishermen can go to sea.

Businesses already working with the national Call4Fish initiative have reported positively on the scheme. Gerry Skews, Director of Waveney Valley Smokehouse said: “We have seen significant business growth since being part of the Call4Fish initiative. While we expected interest across Norfolk and Suffolk, we have been surprised by the response right across the country.”

Cllr Craig Rivett, East Suffolk’s Cabinet Member for Economic Development at East Suffolk Council, said: “We are delighted that there are already ten regional fish and shellfish suppliers registered with Call4Fish (East) who offer collection and direct delivery services across Norfolk and Suffolk. We expect the network to grow, bringing further benefits to the local area.

“East Suffolk Council is committed to supporting local businesses, and we will continue to work closely with all sectors of the fishing industry to support the progress of the district’s economic recovery in the months ahead.”

Cllr. Nick Gowrley, Suffolk County Council’s Cabinet Member for Economic Development said. “Suffolk County Council has always recognised and valued the considerable economic contribution of our coastal and fishing communities.  We are therefore pleased to give Call4Fish (East) our full support.  There can be no denying that restarting and reinforcing existing local supply lines, as well as creating new opportunities between Suffolk suppliers and consumers, is key to Suffolk’s post pandemic economic recovery.  But this isn’t just about recovery, it is also about identifying and encouraging future growth in this important industry for Suffolk.”

Cllr Graham Plant, Norfolk County Council’s Cabinet Member for Growing the Economy, said: “We are really pleased to be supporting the Call4Fish programme, helping to connect customers with suppliers and rebuild the supply chain whilst protecting jobs across Norfolk. This will help aide the recovery of an important and historic sector to Norfolk’s economy from Covid19, and also ensures residents can purchase with confidence safe, high quality fish and shellfish caught by our local fishing industry. We would encourage all Norfolk fish and shellfish suppliers to register with Call4Fish for a free listing for their business.”

Chris Starkie, Chief Executive of the New Anglia LEP, said: “It is great to see this innovative platform being rolled out to support Norfolk and Suffolk’s fishing industry, its supply chain and customers. Many businesses have had to look for new ways to market and sell their produce during the Covid-19 pandemic and I’m sure there is potential for this to continue to grow and develop into a tremendous digital asset for the sector.”

Businesses in the fishing industry wishing to be part of the Call4Fish (East) initiative can sign up by contacting call4fisheast@gmail.com. Supplier listings are free and there is a simple registration process.

Members of the public can find lists of suppliers and how to place an order from our local Suffolk and Norfolk suppliers at www.call4fish.com. They can also find addresses of where they can collect orders directly from retailers who all have social distancing measures in place.

Details and delivery options will change as more suppliers join the network, so customers are reminded to check the website regularly or register to receive updates directly.