The Seafood Ethics Action (SEA) Alliance has awarded funding from its Change on the Water (COTW) Fund to the Scottish White Fish Producers Association (SWFPA) Crew Services Limited, to develop a mobile app (App) to help address welfare issues and support crew, both foreign and local.
The funding has been awarded to design, build, trial, develop and launch an App that will be used to support Crew Services in the engagement and delivery of improved, secure and private communications between, and to fishers (including foreign fishers), as well as to other relevant stakeholders.
This will allow sharing of various types of practical information. Crew members can build an online community through the chat function. This will allow the sharing of experiences to increase their feeling of belonging. The transparency and availability of information will provide a level of support and empowerment for crew members that is currently not offered.
In addition, should they have any queries or anything untoward happens on board, they will have the means to communicate with their peers, or confidentially contact support groups to address these. This will instil a high level of accountability for the captain and crew, to ensure labour and welfare standards on board are of a high standard.
SWFPA Crew Services and SWFPA, are developing the App with Dev4Online. It is being trialled by a wide working party which includes fishers from several different nationalities and from deck hand to skipper. This feedback will be analysed by an evaluation group to assess whether all the features work appropriately, whilst checking to see if additional features should be added. One of the most important elements is the grievance procedure hot line which will be tested extensively to check its operational functions are working to the standard required.
SWFPA Crew Services Limited is wholly owned by the Scottish White Fish Producers Association Limited. The company was launched in 2020 to improve the standards of non-UK crew employment. Crew Services has been instrumental in delivering professional contracts that meet the requirements of ILO C188 and UK employment law. The company has its MCA certificate of conformity and is a member of the Association of Labour Providers.
This project has received match funding from four SEA Alliance member companies: Associated Seafoods, Youngs Seafoods, Thistle Seafoods and Marks & Spencer.
The SEA Alliance COTW Fund supports projects in our members companies supply chains that positively impact the human rights and labour standards of fishers and aquaculture workers. Our COTW Fund supports a collaborative model for addressing human rights issues that acknowledges shared responsibility in supply chains. The Fund is open to members of the SEA Alliance and their partners.
The SEA Alliance launched a second round of its Change on the Water Fund on 4 September 2023. The application window closed on 30 November 2023. The total funding available in this second round of funding was £48,000, with individual grants expected to be £10,000 – £15,000.