Huge congratulations to our SeaFit Healthy Lifestyle Advisor Catriona Arthur (pictured), who has played a key role in setting up a scheme to offer Covid-19 vaccinations to migrant fishermen in the north east.
Due to the transient nature of their work many migrant fishermen are often not registered with a GP and therefore not being invited for a Covid vaccination, so are at risk of slipping through the vaccination net.
Working with the Fishermen's Mission, Catriona is helping to make sure all migrant fishermen working from our ports are kept safe and well by receiving the vaccine.
There are thought to be around 300 migrant fishermen currently working on boats across the north east. A large number are based in Peterhead and Fraserburgh and dates have been set up with a range of local health care providers coming together to support these valued members of the fishing community.
The majority of the men come from the Philippines, Ghana, Sri Lanka, Indonesia and Eastern Europe, and spend up to a year at a time working alongside UK fishing crews, in confined spaces.
Catriona said: “Part of my role as the SeaFit Programme Healthy Lifestyle Advisor is to support the health & wellbeing of fishermen. This initiative is a good example of how we can work in partnership with our healthcare partners to provide this support. It ensures all local fishing crews have an opportunity to receive the vaccine while onshore and provides the necessary protection from the risks of Covid-19."
Carol Elliott, Programme Delivery Manager for the SeaFit Programme, jointly run by the Fishermen’s Mission and the Seafarers Hospital Society said: “Fishing remains the UK’s most dangerous profession and life is tough for many of our fishermen at present. We recognised that key vaccination messages needed to reach fishing communities in many locations."
Thanks to Fishermen’s Mission port staff working in collaboration with skippers, vaccinations have already taken place in Northern Ireland, there are more planned in Cornwall and Carol has taken on an additional role as a Vaccination Champion with the NHS Sussex Partnership.
Mission Area Officer, Kenny Brandie, said: “The response so far has been fantastic, far exceeding our expectations. So we know the demand is out there and we’re already looking at what we can do to reach even more fishing families with these much-needed services. The Fishermen’s Mission wants to continue the fight against covid and ensure migrant fishermen are given the same security and peace of mind as local crew members by receiving the vaccine.”
To access a vaccination, skippers of vessels with migrant crew members are being asked to contact the Fishermen’s Mission, who are liaising with NHS Grampian.
Appointments will be available every Wednesday and Thursday from May 19 until early June, with dates in late June and July for the second dose. To book contact: